Monday morning, Omaha Mayor, Jim Suttle announced alongside the police chief and several city council members, a proposal to change the way Nebraska handles inmates, and allows for their release.
Suttle says he would like a change in the Good Time laws, when it comes to violent offenders. He says criminals who are in prison for gun related offenses, gang members, or habitual criminals should not be allowed to be released due to good behavior before they serve their minimum sentence.
Suttle says the hard work of police and the county attorney's office is being reversed when habitual criminals are released back onto the streets before they are rehabilitated, and re-offend. "It may give the inmates incentives for keeping the peace in the penitentiary in Lincoln, but it disrupts the peace in Omaha," he said.
Omaha's Police Chief, Todd Schmaderer, said he also thinks the Good Time Laws need to be looked at again. "Far too often, I have seen our law enforcement officers do the work we're suppose to be doing, and making arrests, only to have that violent offender come back many years later, and enter our streets and commit further crime."
Suttle says he has not talked with the governor about the issue, but he will be talking with state senators, and proposes a new legislative bill should be introduced once the legislative session begins again next year.
Suttle pointed out the arrest of Angelo Tolbert, 20, as a case where a criminal should not have been out on the streets. Tolbert was arrested twice in the last two years for carrying a concealed weapon. He was arrested Friday for murder, charged in the death of 16-year-old Montrell Wiseman.
"This individual should not have been a murder suspect in a shooting, this individual should have been behind bars," said Suttle.
Wiseman's family gathered at the Douglas County Correctional facility Monday afternoon as Tolbert and a woman charged with accessory in the crime, Nikole Gamble, appeared before a judge.
Tolbert was held without bond, while Gamble is being held on a $250,000 bond.
"He was a sixteen year old and had a life ahead of him," said Sharie Plunkett, Wiseman's mother.
Wiseman was shot and killed near 21st and Binney October 21. Six people are now under arrest in the homicide.
"How do you really deal with death?"' Plunkett asked. "This is my son that's gone, these people took my child's life, they get to wake up every day, he will never get to wake up again. He did no wrong to nobody, he wasn't in a gang or nothing, it's just senseless, a senseless murder."
Plunkett is also angry Tolbert was allowed out on the streets. "This is not right for him to already have charges and be able to be upon the streets to take yet somebody else's life."
Wiseman's uncle, Kunta Plunkett, says until there are harsher penalties, crime will continue to happen. "They have nothing to fear, they go to jail and bond out or whatever and skip town, go to another state and commit more murders, we need to stop the process and wake up."
A fund has been set up at all Sac Federal Credit Unions for Montrell's family. It's under the "Montrell Wiseman Memorial Fund."
Suttle is proposing legislative reform, with six steps to improve the Good Time Laws:
1. There should not be good time early release for violent offenders, repeat violent offenders, those convicted of gun crimes, and for gang related offenses.
2. Good Time shouldn't cut the sentence below minimum.
3. Rehabilitation and re-entry provisions should be determined by parole board.
4. All good time releases should be approved by parole board to add a layer of accountability.
5. The pattern of furlough program should be restructured by law makers.
6. Furloughs should be made public on the inmate locator website, allowing the community, including law enforcement officers and victims to track the offender when they are released.