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Senators advance tougher penalties for witness tampering

April 16, 2019

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Tampering with witnesses, jurors or evidence in a criminal case could carry harsher penalties under a bill advanced by Nebraska lawmakers.

Senators gave the measure first-round approval Tuesday on a 38-0 vote.

Sen. Justin Wayne, of Omaha, says he introduced the bill to discourage criminals who might otherwise try to destroy evidence or influence witnesses to avoid getting convicted.

The penalties for witness tampering are designed correlate with the severity of the underlying crime. Tampering in certain misdemeanor cases would be a misdemeanor, while tampering in higher-level felony cases would be a felony.

Two additional votes are required before it goes to the governor.