Legislature(1993 - 1994)

01/21/1994 01:30 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  SENATE BILL NO. 19                                                           
                                                                               
       "An Act relating to the crime of conspiracy."                           
                                                                               
  Representative Brown provided members with AMENDMENT 3 (copy                 
  on file).  Representative Brown  MOVED to ADOPT AMENDMENT 3.                 
  She expressed concern that an individual's "mere presence at                 
  the time  that two or  more persons  agreed to engage  in or                 
  cause the performance  of a serious felony offense,"  not be                 
  construed as agreement in the action.                                        
                                                                               
  Representative Brown MOVED to AMEND Amendment 3  by adding a                 
  "." after "offense"  and deleting the  rest of Amendment  3.                 
  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                 
                                                                               
  EDWARD MCNALLY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY,  ANCHORAGE, DEPARTMENT OF                 
  LAW testified via the teleconference network from Anchorage.                 
  He asserted that  Amendment 3 is unnecessary,  redundant and                 
  possibly confusing to existing law.   He observed that in at                 
  least three separate citations existing law states that mere                 
  presence or  knowledge  of a  crime  is not  sufficient  for                 
  prosecution.                                                                 
                                                                               
  DEAN GUANELI,  CHIEF ASSISTANT  ATTORNEY, DEPARTMENT  OF LAW                 
  suggested that if Amendment 3 is adopted that it be added to                 
  subsection (a) on page 1.                                                    
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Larson  MOVED  to  AMEND  Amendment  3  by  adding                 
  Amendment 3  to page 1,  line 8 of  CSSB 19 (FIN)am.   There                 
  being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                       
                                                                               
  Representative Parnell asked if the  fact that mere presence                 
  is not enough to  convict a person under the  statutes would                 
  be part of  the jury  instructions.  Mr.  McNally   believed                 
  that juries would receive such instructions.                                 
                                                                               
  BRANT MCGEE, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF PUBLIC ADVOCACY, DEPARTMENT                 
  OF ADMINISTRATION  testified via the  teleconference network                 
  from Anchorage.   He pointed  out that conspiracy  is a  new                 
  offense.  He  maintained that  the court may  not apply  the                 
  same construction to a conspiracy statute  that they do to a                 
  homicide statute.                                                            
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                2                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Mr. Guaneli asserted that a charge would not be made without                 
  additional evidence.   Representative  Hanley restated  that                 
  intent and existing case law provides that  mere presence is                 
  not  sufficient  to  bring a  charge  without  an agreement,                 
  intent and an overt action.                                                  
                                                                               
  Representative Brown MOVED to ADOPT AMENDMENT 3, as AMENDED.                 
  Representative Martin OBJECTED.  A roll call vote  was taken                 
  on the motion.                                                               
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Brown, Hanley, Parnell, MacLean, Larson                            
  OPPOSED:  Martin, Foster                                                     
                                                                               
  Representatives Grussendorf, Hoffman, Navarre and Therriault                 
  were not present for the vote.                                               
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED (5-2).                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Brown provided members with AMENDMENT 4 (copy                 
  on  file).  She MOVED  to ADOPT AMENDMENT  4.  She explained                 
  that the amendment would disallow  a conspiracy comprised of                 
  two persons  if one  of the  persons was  a law  enforcement                 
  official  or a  person  working in  cooperation  with a  law                 
  enforcement official.                                                        
                                                                               
  Mr. Guaneli expressed objection to Amendment 4.  He asserted                 
  that the  amendment would  limit prosecution.   He  observed                 
  that an undercover law enforcement officer may be approached                 
  in  a  narcotics  sale  by an  individual  who  obtains  the                 
  narcotics  from a third  unseen individual.   He pointed out                 
  that individuals  that work undercover with  law enforcement                 
  officers may commit crimes at a  later time.  Their previous                 
  association  with   law  enforcement  officers   may  hinder                 
  prosecution of an unrelated act of conspiracy.                               
                                                                               
  Mr.  McNally  expressed   concern  that  in  a   two  person                 
  conspiracy  case  if  one  defendant  cooperates   with  law                 
  enforcement the conspiracy charge would be nullified.                        
                                                                               
  RANDY CRAWFORD, ALASKA STATE  TROOPERS, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC                 
  SAFETY  testified   via  the  teleconference   network  from                 
  Anchorage.  He  pointed out  that most operations  involving                 
  undercover agents are recorded.  He noted that it is typical                 
  for persons being arrested to  come forward with information                 
  about  a third person or about an additional crime involving                 
  others.                                                                      
                                                                               
  Representative MOVED to ADOPT AMENDMENT 4.  A roll call vote                 
  was taken on the motion.                                                     
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Brown                                                              
  OPPOSED:  Foster, Hanley, Martin, Parnell, MacLean, Larson                   
                                                                               
                                3                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representatives Grussendorf, Hoffman, Navarre and Therriault                 
  were not present for the vote.                                               
                                                                               
  The MOTION FAILED (1-6).                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Brown provided members with AMENDMENT 5 (copy                 
  on file).   She MOVED to  ADOPT AMENDMENT 5.   She explained                 
  that the amendment  would allow an individual involved  in a                 
  conspiracy to renounce their involvement.                                    
                                                                               
  Mr. Guaneli observed  that the  amendment would address  how                 
  the end of the  conspiracy is calculated for purpose  of the                 
  five year  statute of  limitations.   He did  not think  the                 
  amendment  was  necessary.     He  asserted  that   language                 
  contained   in   the   legislation   better  clarifies   the                 
  calculation.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative Brown  referred to subsection 3  of Amendment                 
  5, "the  defendant abandons  the agreement  by advising  the                 
  persons with whom the defendant agreed".                                     
                                                                               
  Mr.  Guaneli  observed  that when  an  individual  agrees to                 
  engage  in a criminal act a  process is begun that can "take                 
  on a  life of  its own,"  even if  the individual  renounces                 
  their involvement.  He added that it is difficult to prove a                 
  renunciation that takes place in secret.                                     
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 94-10, Side 1)                                             
                                                                               
  Representative Brown WITHDREW  AMENDMENT 5.  There  being NO                 
  OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                
                                                                               
  Representative Martin MOVED to report HCS  CSSB 19 (FIN) out                 
  of Committee with  individual recommendations  and with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal notes.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was                 
  so ordered.                                                                  
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson noted that the bill would not be transmitted                 
  until absent members have a chance to review the Committee's                 
  proceedings on Monday, 1/24/94.                                              
                                                                               
  HCS CSSB 19 (FIN) was reported  out of Committee with a  "do                 
  pass" recommendation and with four  fiscal impact notes, two                 
  by the Department  of Administration, one by  the Department                 
  of Corrections and one by the  Alaska Court System; and with                 
  two zero fiscal notes, one by the Department of Law and  one                 
  by the Department of Public Safety.                                          

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