Jenkins Case Stirs Sentencing Debate

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Nikko Jenkins left prison in July well short of the maximum time he could have spent there. That's renewing questions over prison time and state law.

Sgt. John Wells, with the Omaha Police Officers Association said, "He was definitely one of those people that when he was released from prison, had grave concerns that something like this may happen."

Wells and his partner had taken Jenkins into custody a decade ago for robbery. By the time the case worked it's way through court, Jenkins had been sentenced to 18 years in prison. Under the Good Time law, he was released after serving a little more than 10 years.

"This is a serious situation and it is absolutely nothing to make light of," Wells said. "Our elected leaders in Lincoln have failed us miserably, that they allow somebody this dangerous, and with this type of record out early with his sentence cut in half."

Nebraska State Senator Brad Ashford disagrees. He says the issue is with sentencing choices of the judges. With judges deciding the amount of time served, Ashford said the responsibility must fall to those with the gavel.

"I don't think you can make any policy decision about any policy we have in place until we really hone in on the numbers. Who is really at risk to re-offend?" Ashford said.

The Senator says he is working on initiatives to better help treat inmates.

Others think criminals serving full sentence terms would be a better solution but many of the corrections facilities are overcrowded.

This is creating pressure to lower inmate numbers. And while Good Time laws do get people out, many people feel there needs to be more questions asked about who exactly is being turned loose.

Jenkins remained jailed Wednesday night with a court appearance slated for Thursday.