Day Three – Bill Introductions in the Nebraska Legislature

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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3 attorneys recommended to fill district judgeship in Papillion

OWH 11/29/17

LINCOLN — Three attorneys have been recommended for consideration to fill a vacancy on the State District Court bench in Papillion.

A nominating committee has forwarded Cass County Attorney Nathan Cox and Julie Bear, both of Plattsmouth, and Steven Delaney of Bellevue. The vacancy was caused by the retirement of District Judge William Zastera.

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Justice Department moves to end routine gag orders on tech firms

The Justice Department has issued new guidelines aimed at providing more transparency around prosecutors’ secret demands for customer data stored on tech firms’ servers.

The binding guidance, approved last week by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, ends the routine imposition of gag orders barring companies from telling customers that their email or other records have been turned over in response to legal demands.

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Trump nominates Lancaster County Attorney Joe Kelly for U.S. Attorney for Nebraska

OWH 11/18/17

Lancaster County Attorney Joe Kelly will do a great job as U.S. attorney for Nebraska, according to the woman who held the job last.

“He will seamlessly transition into that position,” said Deborah Gilg, who served as the U.S. attorney for Nebraska during President Barack Obama’s two terms in office.

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