Last updated on: 12/6/2016 | Author: ProCon.org

Ernie Chambers, JD Biography

Title:
Nebraska State Senator
Position:
Con to the question "Should the Death Penalty Be Allowed?"
Reasoning:

“I want to get as many votes as I can to abolish this death penalty…

[O]ver 150 people in the last few years have been taken off death row because they were innocent. I know there are people who want to believe that no innocent person has ever been executed in this country. But when you have this many people conclusively proved by DNA evidence to be actually innocent, there is no escaping the conclusion that innocent people have been executed…

There are cases where prosecutors withheld exculpatory information. They knew that there were bogus pieces of evidence introduced. They knew that there were defendants who were coerced into entering a guilty plea to a crime they had not committed.”

Transcript of Nebraska legislature floor debate, legislature.ne.gov, Apr. 16, 2015

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Nebraska State Senator, Independent, 11th Legislative District (North Omaha), 1970-2007 and 2012-present
  • Abolitionist of the Month, Death Penalty Focus, July 2015
  • Recipient, Emperor Has No Clothes Award, Freedom From Religion Foundation, 2015
  • Member, Douglas and Sarpy County, NE, Learning Community Board, 2009
  • Recipient, First Amendment Award, Freedom From Religion Foundation, 2005
  • Committee Lead, Near North Side Police-Community Relations Council, 1966
  • Barber, 1966
  • Postal Service Worker, Omaha Post Office, 1963
  • Private, United States Army, 1959-1963
Education:
  • JD, Creighton University School of Law, 1979
  • BA, History, Creighton University, 1959
  • Graduated from Omaha Tech High School, 1955
Other:
  • Longest-serving state senator in Nebraska
  • Only African-American to run for governor and the US Senate in Nebraska
  • Sued God in 2008 attempting to prove a point regarding frivolous lawsuits
  • Main character of 1997 PBS documentary Ernie Chambers: Still Militant After All These Years
  • Appeared in the 1966 Oscar-nominated documentary A Time for Burning
Quoted in:
  1. Should the Death Penalty Be Abolished or Paused Because of the Alleged Possibility of an Innocent Person Being Executed?