Penalties for witness and jury tampering were increased by legislation passed May 2.
LB496, sponsored by Omaha Sen. Justin Wayne, makes witness, informant or jury tampering a Class II felony when the underlying criminal charge is a Class II felony or higher. A Class II felony carries a penalty of one to 50 years in prison.
The tampering penalty is a Class I misdemeanor when the underlying criminal proceeding alleges a Class II misdemeanor or lower, or a violation of a city or village ordinance. A Class I misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to one year in prison, a $1,000 fine or both.
The bill passed on a 48-0 vote.