Gov. Dave Heineman insists the Nikko Jenkins case demonstrates the need to replace the automatic good time law for state inmates and he rejects efforts to implicate others in the four murders he is alleged to have committed.
Legislative hearings on prison sentence miscalculations have also focused on the case of Nikko Jenkins, accused of killing four in Omaha after being released early from prison. Questions have arisen over whether the Department of Correctional Services could have provided more mental health treatment for Jenkins or could have found a way to keep him from being released.
Gov. Heineman says he will leave it to the professionals to assess the mental state of Nikko Jenkins.
“But I know this fact: Nikko Jenkins murdered four Nebraskans,” Heineman tells reporters during a Capitol news conference. “The Department of Corrections didn’t do that. The Omaha Police Department didn’t do it. The Nebraska State Patrol didn’t do it. Nikko Jenkins did that.”
Corrections officials have said state law required them to release Jenkins. The case drew attention to the state “good time” law, which automatically credits prison inmates with a day of good behavior for each day served, essentially cutting prison sentences in half.
Heineman proposed changing the law during the last legislative session to require inmates to earn any credit for good behavior. The Unicameral never took up the measure.
Heineman said the current law, sponsored by Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha, needs an overhaul.
“This is one where Sen. Chambers and the legislature are out of touch with Nebraskans.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports. [:45]