CARSON CITY — Nevada lawmakers advanced a bill Thursday that might make it tougher for convicted sexual 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, an offender can ask for a hearing to be released from lifetime supervision after 10 years. While under such supervision, offenders can’t leave the state without permission of a supervisor.
Assembly Bill 35, approved by the Assembly Committee on Corrections, Parole and Probation, would make it tougher for an 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 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 for an offense that poses a threat to 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 Assembly Bill 88, 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.
“To charge someone with this, it is a different standard than actually proving the case,” said Assemblyman William Horne, D-Las Vegas. “But once this bell is rung, it’s a very loud bell.”
The committee delayed advancing the bill because of concerns about its unintended consequences.