Flores ’10 and Ji ’09 Active in Nevada Legislature

Mon, 07/20/2009

Boyd law student Lucy Flores ‘10 and alumna Mia Ji ’09 contributed significantly to the drafting and passage of AB179, authorizing persons convicted of a category A or B felony to file a postconviction petition for DNA analysis at State expense, and AB279, requiring state agencies to preserve biological evidence until the expiration of a sentence for a person convicted of a category A or B felony.

photo of Lucy Flores

Not ones to wait around for things to happen, Flores and Ji provided direct advocacy and education to members of the Senate and Assembly, testified before committee hearings, and doggedly pushed the bill along to make sure it wasn’t killed by legislative deadlines. Indefatigable advocates, they also spent considerable time gathering support for the bills from interested parties and managing the inevitable procedural snafus.Mia Ji

Prior to the enactment of AB179, only persons convicted of capital crimes were authorized to file a postconviction petition for DNA analysis at State expense. The Boyd Innocence Clinic initially sought to extend the law to all felons, but discussions with representatives of district attorneys, crime labs, and public defenders resulted in the compromise bill.

Similarly, when the Innocence Clinic became involved with legislative efforts that lead to AB279, the proposal would have limited automatic preservation of biological evidence to homicide and sexual assault cases. The version eventually signed into law, however, expanded preservation to all defendants convicted of a category A or B felony until the expiration of their sentence.