Governor responds to criticism to opinion on jailtime

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Updated: Wed, 25 Sep 2013 11:04:31 CST

Today, Governor Heineman released a letter in response to Omaha Senator Heath Mello calling for more focus on the death penalty in Nebraska.

Heineman says death is the only just sentence for criminals.

He intends to pursue legislation to change the "Good Time" law.

That law allows inmates to shave a day off their sentence for every day they spend behind bars. It effectively cuts sentences in half.

Senator Mello sent a letter to the Governor last week following increased scrutiny around the state's prison system.

Nebraskans are crying out for changes since the early release of Nikko Jenkins was followed by an alleged murder spree of 4 people.

News 5 spoke with 33rd District Senator, Les Seiler on the issue Wednesday.

"I'm afraid it may be made out to be a red herring. Everybody concentrates on good time when maybe we should be talking about rehabilitation of those people." Said Senator Les Seiler.

In Governor Heineman's response to Senator Mello today, he says violent criminals need to earn good time instead of automatically receiving it.

Senator Seiler says he's sure this will be a top issue come the next legislative session in January.