Eyewitness Identification Reform

Nebraska enacted a statute requiring all law enforcement agencies that conduct eyewitness identifications to adopt a written policy and submit it to the Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. The policy shall include the minimum standards developed by the Commission relating to the following: (a) standards which describe the administration of a lineup, (b) procedures governing the instructions given by a peace officer to an eyewitness, and (c) procedures for documentation of the eyewitness's level of certainty of an identification.

The Commission approved minimum standards and a model policy that includes the 'core four' evidence-based practices: blind/blinded administration of the lineup, instructions to the eyewitness that the perpetrator may or may not be present, use of non-suspect fillers that generally match the eyewitness's description of the perpetrator and do not make the suspect noticeably stand out, and eliciting a statement of confidence from the eyewitness immediately after an identification is made. Statute effective: 2016; Policy adopted: 2016.

Read the statute.

Read the Commission's model policy.

Recording of Interrogations

Law enforcement officers are required to record custodial interrogations at a place of detention in connection with crimes resulting in death or felonies involving sexual assault, kidnapping, child abuse or strangulation. A failure to comply yields a jury instruction. Effective: 2008.

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Post Conviction DNA Testing

Any person can apply for DNA testing with the court that entered the guilty judgment at any time after conviction. Effective: 2001; Amended most recently: 2015.

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Evidence Preservation

State statute requires the automatic preservation of biological evidence in relation to a criminal case for the length of an individual’s incarceration. Effective: 2001; Amended most recently: 2007.

Nebraska's statute meets the best practices standards outlined by the NIST Technical Working Group on Biological Evidence Preservation.

Read the statute.

Exoneree Compensation

Any person with a pardon for innocence, whose conviction was vacated, or whose conviction was reversed and remanded for a new trial and no subsequent conviction was obtained is eligible for damages found to proximately result from the wrongful conviction with a maximum of $500,000. Effective: 2009.

Read the statute.

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