Bill seeks to stop drone use to spy on people, harass cows

Bill seeks to stop drone use to spy on people, harass cows

Using a drone to spy on neighbors, drop drugs into prisons or harass cows could lead to criminal charges under a new bill Nebraska lawmakers will consider later this year.

The measure would impose new safety and privacy rules on the remote-control flying machines that are now used for dozens of jobs throughout the state.

Sen. Carol Blood of Bellevue said she introduced the bill to protect the public without overregulating drones, the kind of technology she said is critical to the state’s economic growth. The Federal Aviation Administration already oversees drones, but Blood said the agency hasn’t addressed all of the public safety concerns.

“We want to make sure we have laws that tell people what our expectations are when they use technology,” she said.

If the measure passes, Nebraska would join 40 other states with laws regulating drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The laws often address how law enforcement agencies and the general public can use the devices.

The Nebraska bill would create a variety of new restrictions for drone users. Pilots who use drones to peep inside homes without permission could face a misdemeanor charge, and so could sex offenders who use drones to violate a protection order. Red More

 

 

Ricketts, others seek dismissal of ACLU lawsuit challenging death penalty referendum

Ricketts, others seek dismissal of ACLU lawsuit challenging death penalty referendum

LINCOLN — Attorneys for Gov. Pete Ricketts argued Friday in court that he simply exercised his rights as a citizen when he participated in a referendum petition that restored Nebraska’s death penalty in 2016.

Lawyers for the ACLU of Nebraska countered that as the state’s top executive, the governor doesn’t get to make law, but when he led and helped fund the referendum petition drive to overturn the Legislature’s death penalty repeal, the governor made law in violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers clause.

Lancaster County District Judge John Colborn heard 50 minutes of legal debate Friday from six different lawyers in a lawsuit that could strike down the 2016 death penalty referendum vote.

The judge said he will consider the arguments along with written briefs before he issues a ruling. He could dismiss the case, remove some of the defendants or allow the lawsuit to proceed unchanged.

Lawyers for Ricketts, Attorney General Doug Peterson, Treasurer Don Stenberg and several other defendants argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed now before engaging in further litigation. Read More.

 

 

Lancaster County Attorney’s Office seeks to hire investigator for special criminal case

Lancaster County Attorney’s Office seeks to hire investigator for special criminal case 

For the first time, the Lancaster County Attorney’s Office will hire a temporary investigator to work on a big case that it refused to identify.

“It is for a specific case where we anticipate a great deal of background work, a lot of reports from various agencies,” Lancaster County Attorney Joe Kelly told the County Board, which unanimously approved the hire at its meeting Thursday.

Kelly would not comment after the meeting on whether this investigator would work on one of the state’s most highly publicized cases — the disappearance and death of 24-year-old Lincoln woman Sydney Loofe. Read More.

 

 

 

Day Three – Bill Introductions in the Nebraska Legislature

http://update.legislature.ne.gov/?p=22710

Unicameral Update

Court upholds dismissal of ‘inattentive’ juror during 2015 rape trial; rejects request for retrial

Court upholds dismissal of ‘inattentive’ juror during 2015 rape trial; rejects request for retrial

LINCOLN — A trial judge described the juror as inattentive, with the “attention span of a third-grader.”

On Friday, the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld the dismissal of the juror and rejected a request for a new trial by a man convicted of rape.

Jeffrey Huff, who ultimately was sentenced to 12 to 20 years in prison, had challenged his guilty verdict, saying that Lancaster County District Judge Robert Otte had made a mistake by discharging a juror, identified only as “M.F.” Read More

 

 

Inspector general: 50 victims of sex abuse verified in 3 years in Nebraska child welfare, juvenile justice systems

Inspector general: 50 victims of sex abuse verified in 3 years in Nebraska child welfare, juvenile justice systems

A nearly yearlong investigation into alleged sexual abuse of children and youth in Nebraska’s child welfare and juvenile justice systems showed 50 verified victims in a recent three-year period, the state’s inspector general for child welfare Read more

 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions creates new DEA office to ‘turn tide’ in opioid crisis

WASHINGTON – For the first time in 20 years, the Drug Enforcement Administration is opening a new field office, in an attempt to turn the tide in the worsening opioid crisis that has fueled record-setting overdose fatalities across the country.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Wednesday that the DEA’s 22nd field office would be located in Louisville, Ky., part of a region plagued by the abuse of the prescription painkiller, heroin and the deadly synthetic drug fentanyl.

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A Growing Call to Limit Lawyers’ Donations to Prosecutors

Minutes after winning re-election to a third term as Manhattan district attorney last week, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., a celebratory drink in hand, was asked how he would rebuild the trust of voters angry about large donations to his campaign from defense lawyers with cases before his office.

“It’s very important that we address this public concern,” he said. “And we will. We will institute sensible, progressive and effective fund-raising policies and limits.”

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White House opioid commission calls for wideranging changes to anti-drug policies

President Trump’s commission on the opioid crisis called Wednesday for a nationwide system of drug courts and easier access to alternatives to opioids for people in pain, part of a wide-ranging menu of improvements it said are needed to curb the opioid epidemic.

The commission, headed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), called for expanding drug courts — an alternative system that tries to channel substance abusers accused of crimes into treatment — into all 94 federal court jurisdictions. Currently they are in fewer than half.

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