CARSON CITY — Nevada lawmakers advanced a bill Thursday that might make it tougher for convicted sex offenders to be released from lifetime supervision but would reduce the amount of time offenders have to wait for a hearing on their release.
Currently, a convicted sex offender can ask for a hearing to be released from lifetime supervision after 10 years. While under lifetime supervision, offenders can’t leave the state without permission of a supervisor.
AB35, approved by the Assembly Committee on Corrections, Parole and Probation, would make it tougher for a sex offender to be released by a judge from lifetime supervision by expanding criteria that judges use to determine whether to grant the release.
The bill states that judges must consider any report submitted by the Division of Parole and Probation that relates to the offender’s conduct.
The bill also would reduce to seven years the time that must elapse before an offender can request a hearing. During those seven years, the offender must have a clean record, without a conviction of an offense that poses a threat to the safety or well-being of others.
"The additional length of community supervision would be an enhancement to public safety," state parole-probation chief Bernie Curtis said after the meeting, adding he could see positives and negatives of reducing the time to a hearing.
Also, the Assembly Judiciary Committee debated AB88, which would enable authorities to prosecute anyone who views child pornography on a computer, as long as they can prove it was intentional. Lawmakers expressed concern that innocent people could be charged if they accidentally open an inappropriate link sent to them through e-mail.
"Even though there’s this body of evidence that you would need to prove the case, that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be present to charge the case," said Assemblyman William Horne, D-Las Vegas. "And to charge someone with this, it is different standard than actually proving the case. But once this bell is rung, it’s a very loud bell."
The committee delayed advancing the bill, because of lawmakers’ ongoing concerns about its unintended consequences.