The Nebraska Legislature’s Judiciary Committee held a hearing Wednesday afternoon on LB379, the Truth in Sentencing Bill.
State Senator John Nelson introduced the bill last month.
The intent of the Truth in Sentencing bill is to ensure that people who are convicted of violent crimes, gun crimes, or repeat violent offenses are not eligible for furlough or early release.
Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle testified in support of the bill. He says he isn’t opposed in principle to furloughs or programs like Good Time.
But Suttle says he doesn’t feel they should be applied with a one size fits all approach.
"To take someone who has been involved in major gun violence and violent crimes and major gang activities, you can’t just put them back out on the streets with no plan, no supervision, no nothing and that’s what they are doing. Here’s your pass out on Friday night, we will see you on Monday morning. We cannot tolerate that and the common sense portion was totally absent from that discussion in the hearing today with the senators.”
Mayor Suttle says people should be aware of what’s happening in surrounding states.
He says all the states surrounding Nebraska have a 70% rule, where violent offenders, once convicted, are given a maximum sentence, and aren’t eligible for furloughs or paroles until 70% of that sentence has been served.
As a result, Suttle says the states around Nebraska have lower violent crime rates.