Under the one-third rule, which was dropped three decades ago, judges must issue minimum prison sentences for criminal offenses that are no longer than one-third of the maximum sentence. Under the rule, someone sentenced for a crime that carried a 50-year maximum sentence would get a minimum sentence of no more than 162⁄3 years. The minimum sentence determines when an inmate is eligible for release on parole, so a shorter minimum sentence results in a quicker release from prison, according to prosecutors. Read More.
Pat Condon announced Monday that he will run to be the next Lancaster County attorney.
Condon has 28 years experience in the office and for the past seven has been chief deputy to County Attorney Joe Kelly, a fellow Republican who has been nominated to be U.S. attorney for Nebraska and is awaiting confirmation.
Condon has handled criminal cases ranging from homicides and sexual assaults to child abuse and drug cases. As chief deputy, he’s maintained a full caseload, taking a majority of the office’s post-conviction cases, assigning cases and assisting with the budgeting process, “helping to maintain efficiencies in the office and a fiscally conservative approach to keeping Lancaster County safe, while maintaining the high standards Lancaster County voters have come to expect from the office.” Read More
JoANNE YOUNG Lincoln Journal Star
Prosecutors and defense attorneys said Friday the “yes means yes” sexual affirmative consent bill was written in a way that is too confusing.
“It’s difficult for us as prosecutors to understand the language within this bill, let alone communicate that to jurors who need to understand what elements we have to prove … beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Molly Keane, representing the Nebraska County Attorneys Association.
Keane, a deputy Douglas County Attorney whose focus is sexual assault prosecutions, was testifying in front of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee in opposition to the affirmative consent bill (LB988) brought by Lincoln Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks. Read More.
Children questioned as witnesses in criminal court cases would be given additional consideration under a bill discussed by lawmakers Jan. 23 and 25.
Under LB589, introduced by Bellevue Sen. Sue Crawford, no deposition of a child would be granted if a video-recorded forensic interview already has been conducted by an accredited child advocacy center, unless the deposition would aid in the disclosure of evidence vital to a defendant’s case.
Crawford said the bill is the next step in the process to protect victims of sexual abuse, trafficking and molestation, while also preserving the due process rights of the accused.
“A child is more susceptible to traumatic revictimization, especially if a deposition is conducted several months after the forensic interview,” she said. “It is critical we take action to prevent the revictimization of vulnerable children.”
Erin Grace World-Herald staff writer
PLATTSMOUTH, Neb. — A change of attorneys has resulted in a delayed trial calendar for Matthew Stubbendieck, a man accused of helping his girlfriend commit suicide in Cass County.
The chief prosecutor in the assisted-suicide case, Cass County Attorney Nathan Cox, was appointed last week by Gov. Pete Ricketts to the bench in Nebraska’s 2nd Judicial District, covering Cass, Otoe and Sarpy Counties. Cox is expected to submit his resignation this week as county attorney. Read More
by Fred Knapp, NET News
In just over a quarter century, the tax has brought in about $1.5 million used for programs like drug enforcement and education. The vast majority of that has come from administrative and court actions – just over $13,000 has come from people buying drug tax stamps in advance, like they are supposed to. Ebke most of the sales of stamps have been to “hobbyists – people who just want a copy of the stamp because they’re cool, they look neat, and they’re sort of a novelty item.” Read More.
Gov. Pete Ricketts has appointed Cass County Attorney Nathan Cox to replace District Court Judge William B. Zastera in Nebraska’s 2nd Judicial District.
Zastera retired in Oct. 1 after more than 26 years of service on the county and district court benches in Papillion.
- A trio of Nebraska lawmakers introduced bills Tuesday aimed at addressing the state’s growing problem of opioid addiction. Among their proposals was a limit on opioid prescriptions for minors and a requirement for people to show identification when picking up prescriptions. State Sens. Sara Howard and Brett Lindstrom, both of Omaha, have been touched by the issue personally. Howard’s sister died of a drug overdose in 2009 after getting addicted to the powerful painkillers. “We have a serious epidemic in this country, and we need to make some very tough decisions if we are to reduce the number of people getting addicted to these drugs,” she said. Although Nebraska has one of the lowest rates of drug overdose deaths in the nation, 120 people died of overdoses in 2016, primarily opioid-related.
A Lincoln senator wants to flip the script on giving consent for sex.
Instead of the common rule of “no means no,” which implies that unless a person says no, the other person in a sexual encounter assumes there’s permission, an affirmative consent would be required.
Silence would not mean it’s OK.
As it is now, state law says a person must express a lack of consent through words or conduct. Read More
Nebraska County Attorneys Association
P.O. Box 80044
Lincoln, NE 68501