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1994 NSBA News 1 (1994)

handle is hein.barjournals/neblwr1994 and id is 1 raw text is: Issue 94-1                                        February 1994
House supports indigent defense legislation
by Dennis R. Keefe

The Nebraska State Bar Associa-
tion went on record in support of L.B.
1333 and L.B. 1334, legisiasion
recently introduced in the Nebraska
Unicameral which would implement
the recommendations of Nebraska's
Indigent Defense Task Force. The
House of Delegates voted to support
the legislation at its meeting in
Lincoln on Jan. 28, 1994.
L.B. 1333 is similar to legislation
introduced in other states requiring a
justice system impact statement for
all legislation. The bill requires the
Judiciary Committee of the Legisla-
ture, in conjunction with the Legis-
lature's Fiscal Analyst's Office, to
House reviews
64 legislative bills
The Nebraska State Bar Association
House of Delegates met Jan. 28 in
Lincoln for its annual legislative session.
House members reviewed 64 legislative
bills and four legislative resolutions, ap-
proving the support for several, includ-
ing the findings of the Supreme Court's
Indigent Defense Task Force.
Acting on the recommendations of
the NSBA Legislation Committee,
chaired by Steven R. Voigt and the
Executive Council, delegates supported
16 measures and took no position,
opposed or suggested the remainder for
further study.
Further action by the House included
approval of the nomination of South
Sioux City attorney Golby C. Uhlir to
fill the unexpired term of the late
Donald A. Fitch. House members also
honored the late Hon. Robert M.
McGowan, Sr., with a resolution. For a
closer look at legislation, turn to page
10 for the annual legislative summary.

determine the impact of new legislation
on all segments of the criminal justice
system including law enforcement,
prosecution, indigent defense, proba-
tion, courts, local corrections and state
L.B. 1334 would implement the
other major recommendations of the
Indigent Defense Task Force contained
in its report of December 1993. The
Task Force spent 14 months studying
Nebraska's indigent defense system.
In October of 1992, the State Court
Administrator's Office received a federal
grant from the Nebraska Crime Com-
mission to conduct a first-ever study of
Nebraska's indigent defense system. The
money was used to hire a national
research/consulting firm, The Spangen-
berg Group, to conduct the study.
Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice
William C. Hastings of Lincoln,
appointed a 36 person Task Force to
oversee the work of the consultant, to
review the findings and make recom-
mendations for change. NSBA
provided administrative support to the
Task Force and a number of NSBA leaders
were members of the Task Force, includ-
ing Harold L. Rock of Omaha who
served as chair, Robert M. Spire of
Lincoln, and Immediate Past President,
John C. Brownrigg of Lincoln. Judges
from all court levels,public defenders,
prosecutors and practioners were also
represented on the Task Force.
The Task Force and its subcommittee
met numerous times over the course of the
study, reviewed the findings of The
Spangenberg Group and made recommen-
dations to improve Nebraslk's indigent
defense system.
L.B. 1334 tracks the major recommen-
dations of the Task Force.
In summary, the bill would make the

'The changes that are recommended are
designed to inpmve the indigent defense
delivery system in this state, Harold L Rock
following changes:
 Establish a Nebraska Commission on
* Currently, Nebraska is one of only six
states which provide no state funds for
indigent defense. While the counties
would retain their current right to es-
tablish the type of system they want
(with only minor changes), the Ne-
braska Commission on Public Advocacy
eSet standards for each type of indi-
gent defense system. The counties
would be eligible for some state
reimbursement if they meet the
*Provide direct legal assistance
upon request of the public defender,
assigned counsel or the court and
subject to caseload limits, in ap-
peals, capital cases and other
major crimes.
(Continued on page 8)

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