Eyewitness Identification Reform
State law requires law enforcement agencies to adopt written policies for live and photo lineups and show-ups. Since 2015, Clark (including Las Vegas) and Washoe (including Reno) counties, which cover 80% of the state's population, have adopted eyewitness identification policies that include: blind administration, proper fillers, proper witness instructions, witness confidence statements, and a recommendation that lineups be video/audio recorded. Clark and Washoe counties have also adopted policies in show-up identification procedures. Effective: 2011. Policies adopted: 2014-2015.Read the Clark county policyRead the Washoe county policyNevada Law Enforcement Agencies in Reform for Eyewitness Identification
Recording of Interrogations
In 2019, Nevada passed a law that requires every law enforcement agency in the state to adopt a written policy on electronic recording of custodial interrogations that, at minimum, requires custodial interrogations that occur in a place of detention to be recorded in their entirety for suspects in homicide and sexual assault cases. All law enforcement agencies shall implement their policies no later than April 1, 2020. Effective: 2019.
Post Conviction DNA Testing
Any person imprisoned for an A or B felony (i.e. any felony punishable by more than one year of incarceration) may petition the court for DNA testing. Effective: 2003; Amended most recently: 2013.
Upon conviction for a class A or B felony, state law requires that any biological evidence collected in the investigation and prosecution of a case must be automatically preserved for the length of an individual’s sentence. Effective: 2009; Amended most recently: 2013.
Nevada's statute meets the best practices standards outlined by the NIST Technical Working Group on Biological Evidence Preservation.
In 2019, Nevada passed a law that provides compensation to exonerees based upon the amount of time the person was wrongfully imprisoned, at a set amount per year of wrongful imprisonment as follows: 1-10 years = $50,000/year, 10-20 years = $75,000/year, and 20+ years = $100,000/year. In addition to monetary compensation, exonerees are entitled to non-monetary services including: payment for the cost of tuition and educational expenses to attend a school within the Nevada System of Higher Education, participation in a state health care program, programs for reentry, counseling services, reimbursement for restitution and any medical care paid for by the person while they were wrongfully imprisoned, housing assistance, and financial literacy assistance. The court is required to seal all records relating to the wrongful conviction and grant a certificate of innocence to an exoneree. Effective: 2019; Amended most recently: 2021.
New Non-DNA Evidence & Changes in Science
In 2019, Nevada passed a law that creates an avenue for people to present new, non-DNA evidence of factual innocence beyond two years after their conviction. The law clarifies that new evidence may include relevant forensic evidence that was not available at trial or that materially undermines forensic evidence presented at trial, such as new research or information that repudiates the validity of scientific evidence, testimony, or the applied validity of a scientific method/technique. Effective: 2019.