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Bills in Nevada Assembly would change rules for plea deals, police interrogations

The Assembly Judiciary Committee on Wednesday heard bills about plea deals, police interrogations and diversion programs.

Committee chairman Assemblyman Steve Yeager, D-Las Vegas, presented two bills:

— Assembly Bill 453 would give courts the option of considering conditional plea deals. Under the proposal, a defendant could opt out of a deal in favor of a jury trial if the terms of the deal reached with prosecutors are not granted by a judge.

— Assembly Bill 470 would give municipal courts the ability to adopt a “pre-prosecution” diversion program for first-time, nonviolent offenders. Yeager said specialty courts in Clark County typically require suspects to plead guilty before they can participate in such programs, but they would not have to under his bill.

A bill presented by the Innocence Project would require police to record all interrogations done while a suspect is in police custody. The Innocence Project is a legal organization devoted to exonerating inmates who were wrongfully convicted.

Under the proposal, a jury would be instructed to weigh the absence of a recorded interrogation when evaluating the legitimacy of a suspect’s confession.

No actions were taken on these bills Wednesday.

Contact Wesley Juhl at wjuhl@reviewjournal.com and 702-383-0391. Follow @WesJuhl on Twitter.

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