LINCOLN (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers have granted final approval to a bill that would give state prisoners no more than a year to file post-conviction relief claims to challenge their sentences.
Lawmakers advanced the bill by Omaha Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh, 45-0.
Lautenbaugh has said his proposal (LB137) is designed to limit frivolous prisoner filings, while allowing legitimate claims to proceed. Lautenbaugh said he hoped to stop prisoners from abusing the system. Current state law sets no time limit.
Prison inmates file post-conviction relief motions once they have exhausted all other appeals. Such claims rarely succeed, because prisoners must show that their constitutional rights were violated in a way so extreme that it renders their convictions void. Inmates often claim that their lawyer did not effectively defend them.