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Criminal Justice | Economy & Business | Legislature

Assembly passes bills reversing police misconduct protections, addressing unemployment delays

August 5th, 2020 - 2:00am
Nobody spoke in favor of the bill on Tuesday, with many activists opposing because they said people affected by police shootings were not involved in its creation and arguing that the measure should fully repeal SB242. Some opponents said the language that remains in the law and grants authority to police unions means officers are still insulated from consequences.


Coronavirus | Criminal Justice | Legislature

Contentious COVID business liability, worker protection bill advances in Senate in early morning vote

August 4th, 2020 - 2:46am
The bill, which is likely to be the last piece of legislation introduced during the special session, cleared the Senate Committee of the Whole early Tuesday morning, 18-3, with Republican Sens. Ira Hansen, Joe Hardy and Pete Goicoechea in opposition. The legislation, SB4, has dominated the behind-the-scenes conversations during the session and is the culmination of a deal between some of the state’s most powerful political interests, including casinos, business groups and the Culinary Union.



Criminal Justice | Legislature

Bill limiting police chokeholds, requiring duty to intervene passes Assembly in bipartisan vote

August 1st, 2020 - 5:50pm
Updated August 1st, 2020 - 8:43pm
A bill that restricts police use of chokeholds, allows recording of law enforcement and calls for drug testing of officers involved in shootings passed the Assembly with bipartisan support, in spite of criticism that lawmakers could have gone further to address police brutality.


Community | Criminal Justice

Douglas County sheriff tells library that supported Black Lives Matter not to bother calling 911, then backtracks

July 28th, 2020 - 2:33pm
Updated July 29th, 2020 - 9:20am
As libraries across the country issue statements responding to calls for addressing systemic racism and police violence, the Douglas County sheriff published an open letter threatening not to respond to emergency calls from Douglas County Public Library staff because of a statement of diversity the library was considering adopting during an upcoming public meeting.

Criminal Justice | Government

U.S. Supreme Court rejects challenge to Nevada’s limits on in-person worship services

July 24th, 2020 - 5:41pm
No written order denying the church’s petition was authored by the prevailing justices, which included Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. The remaining justices, in three blistering dissents, argued against what they framed as state-backed discrimination against religious institutions.


Criminal Justice | State Government

Two-thirds of Nevada inmates held in Arizona private prison have COVID-19, dwarfing inmate case count in Nevada-run prisons

July 18th, 2020 - 5:23pm
The Nevada Department of Corrections and Gov. Steve Sisolak’s office has not yet confirmed the total or provided comment after several requests from The Nevada Independent. But Hawaiian media reported on Saturday that Nevada inmates’ tests came back positive and Hawaiian inmates, who make up the majority of inmates at the private facility run by CoreCivic, are in quarantine as a result of the Nevada inmates’ diagnoses.

Criminal Justice | Economy & Business | Legislature

Interest groups push COVID liability, criminal justice, worker protections for second special session

Although lobbyists and members of the public have been barred from the physical legislative building, a host of interest groups are making their demands known and pushing for their priorities to be included in the proclamation that will establish the parameters of what lawmakers can consider in their second special session. Gov. Steve Sisolak is expected to call the next session once lawmakers finish finalizing cuts to the state budget during the first special session, which started Wednesday.



Criminal Justice | Legislature

Nevada Supreme Court will allow legislative lawyers to participate in major payroll tax case

June 26th, 2020 - 2:22pm
The 5-2 decision, which was published on Friday, will allow attorneys for the nonpartisan legal division of the Legislature to represent Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro and Senate Secretary Claire Clift in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of an extended payroll tax (about $100 million over two years) approved in the 2019 legislative session without a two-thirds vote normally required for any tax increase.

Coronavirus | Criminal Justice

Nevada testing all of its inmates for COVID-19, but group in Arizona private prison left out

June 19th, 2020 - 2:00am
The Nevada Department of Corrections says the prisoners, who are housed at the 1,926-bed Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, have not been tested. CoreCivic, which runs the facility, said no inmates and three staff members have tested positive so far but were either not working with offenders or hadn’t been to the facility for a while.

Criminal Justice

Podcast: Lawyer John Piro says his arrest while serving as a legal observer at Vegas protest felt ‘degrading’

June 17th, 2020 - 7:03pm
But on Saturday, Piro found himself in the same place as many of his indigent clients — hands behind his back and facing down a court date. Piro is charged with “pedestrian intentionally in a roadway” stemming from an arrest that happened at a Saturday protest in Las Vegas while he was wearing a red shirt emblazoned with the words “legal observer.”

Criminal Justice | Marijuana

More than 15,000 marijuana convictions forgiven, but much work remains to clean offenses from people’s records

June 17th, 2020 - 1:08pm
The Nevada Board of Pardons Commissioners, chaired by Gov. Steve Sisolak, voted unanimously to approve a resolution pardoning the decriminalized offense. Records show that 15,592 were convicted of the misdemeanor from 1986 through the end of 2016, and there were 31,124 arrested for the offense. Recreational use became legal in 2017.


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