Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

04/22/2005 08:30 AM JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Recessed to 4/23/05 4 pm --
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
       HB 88-CRIM LAW: MINORS, SCHOOLS, DRUGS, SENTENCES                                                                    
10:08:26 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEEKINS announced HB 88 to be up for consideration.                                                                       
MS. ANNE  CARPENETI, Department  of Law  (DOL) introduced  HB 88,                                                               
which  is designed  to respond  to  the problems  of violence  in                                                               
schools  and  also violence  among  juveniles  relating to  guns.                                                               
Under HB 88 juveniles who are 16  or 17 years old who use guns in                                                               
certain  circumstances would  be  automatically  waived to  adult                                                               
court. Those circumstances are; using  a gun during a drug felony                                                               
crime and drive  by shootings. The court may  mitigate a sentence                                                               
for a  defendant who has  cooperated with the authorities  in the                                                               
prosecution of the case.                                                                                                        
The definition of recreation or  youth center has been changed to                                                               
add  those run  by private  groups. HB  88 makes  the aggravating                                                               
factor  apply to  arson (AS  11.46.400) but  the committee  would                                                               
have to amend it to include  a building on school grounds if they                                                               
want the arson aggravating factor to stay.                                                                                      
10:12:51 AM                                                                                                                   
MS. CARPENETI asserted arson against  a school building should be                                                               
10:13:06 AM                                                                                                                   
MS.  PATTY WARE,  director, division  of juvenile  justice, (DJJ)                                                               
Department  of  Health  and Social  Services  (DHSS)  offered  to                                                               
answer questions. HB  88 adds offenses for juveniles  who are age                                                               
16 and older  in terms of them being processed  and treated as an                                                               
CHAIR SEEKINS said HB 88 sounds strangely familiar.                                                                             
SENATOR THERRIAULT advised  it was similar to SB 65.  He moved to                                                               
Amendment 1.                                                                                                                    
     Strike Section 1.                                                                                                          
Hearing no objections, Amendment 1 carried.                                                                                     
Chair Seekins announced a brief recess at 10:15:37 AM.                                                                        
Chair Seekins reconvened the meeting at 10:19:59 AM.                                                                          
CHAIR SEEKINS and the committee reviewed CSSB 65(JUD).                                                                          
SENATOR FRENCH commented  HB 88 focuses on  juveniles who perform                                                               
adult-type crimes.                                                                                                              
10:24:01 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR FRENCH  said HB  88 is  the more  likely vehicle  to pass                                                               
legislation this term. He suggested  replacing Section 3 of HB 88                                                               
with Section 1 of CSSB 65(JUD).                                                                                                 
SENATOR THERRIAULT commented the only  difference is the issue of                                                               
arson. HB 88 Section 3 added AS 11.46.400, which is problematic.                                                                
MS. CARPENETI stated the problem would be fixed by an amendment.                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT  asked whether  the committee wants  to delete                                                               
arson or confine it to arson against school buildings.                                                                          
SENATOR  FRENCH  asserted arson  against  school  property was  a                                                               
problem in his community.                                                                                                       
10:25:08 AM                                                                                                                   
MS.  CARPENETI  said  in  order  to leave  arson  in  HB  88  the                                                               
committee would  have to limit  it to school buildings  on school                                                               
grounds or school busses.                                                                                                       
SENATOR FRENCH moved Amendment 2.                                                                                               
     Strike HB 88 Section 3 and insert CSSB 65(JUD) Section 1.                                                                  
Hearing no objections, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                                 
10:26:42 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR FRENCH  proposed Amendment  3, which adds  arson. Hearing                                                               
no objections, Amendment 3 was adopted.                                                                                         
10:29:07 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR FRENCH asked  Ms. Carpeneti whether the  DOL supports the                                                               
MS. CARPENETI replied yes.                                                                                                      
SENATOR  THERRIAULT  asked  Ms.   Carpeneti  to  comment  on  the                                                               
difference in  HB 88  and CSSB  65(JUD) in  regards to  first and                                                               
second-degree weapon use.                                                                                                       
10:31:43 AM                                                                                                                   
MS. CARPENETI said  CSSB 65(JUD) included both  first and second-                                                               
degree misconduct  involving weapons. HB  88 would not  waive for                                                               
certain  behavior,  such  as possessing  a  concealed  weapon  on                                                               
school grounds and  behavior with discharging of a  firearm at or                                                               
in  the  direction of  a  building  with reckless  disregard  for                                                               
physical injury to a person or a dwelling.                                                                                      
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked whether the  DOL agreed to the narrowing                                                               
of the statute.                                                                                                                 
MS. CARPENETI advised they spoke against it.                                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked the reasoning.                                                                                         
MS. WARE interjected to explain the  thinking had to do with what                                                               
Senator  French  mentioned  earlier   -  the  decision  to  waive                                                               
juveniles  into  adult  court. The  discussion  centered  on  the                                                               
seriousness of  second degree versus first  degree and possession                                                               
versus  actually using  a gun  during a  crime. In  terms of  the                                                               
numbers, in a two-year period  the DJJ reported 16 juveniles were                                                               
charged  with misconduct  involving weapons  in the  first degree                                                               
and the second degree. Under  the narrower version, the DJJ would                                                               
have waived five of these  juveniles into the adult system. Under                                                               
the broader definition,  all 16 juveniles would  have been waived                                                               
into adult court.                                                                                                               
10:34:18 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR GUESS asked  Ms. Ware whether the DJJ  has the discretion                                                               
to waive cases into the adult system.                                                                                           
MS. WARE replied they do  under the existing statutes any offense                                                               
that  is deemed  serious enough  they connect  with the  district                                                               
attorney's  office and  petition the  court for  a waiver  of the                                                               
individual into the adult court system.                                                                                         
SENATOR FRENCH clarified HB 88 allowed for an automatic waiver.                                                                 
MS. CARPENETI interjected the argument  on the other side is that                                                               
an automatic  waiver is a serious  step, so they decided  it best                                                               
to best  to start with  the first  degree offense and  later look                                                               
into second degree.                                                                                                             
SENATOR THERRIAULT agreed with the narrower scope.                                                                              
SENATOR  THERRIAULT   asked  for  clarification  on   Section  1,                                                               
subparagraph (B). He  wondered whether an after  school swim club                                                               
at a local gym would be included.                                                                                               
MS. WARE  explained the key  word in Section 1,  subparagraph (B)                                                               
is  "licensed". The  DHSS  licenses an  array  of facilities  for                                                               
shelter services  for children.  The example  given would  not be                                                               
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked about a boys and girls club.                                                                           
MS. WARE responded they were not licensed.                                                                                      
10:38:53 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEEKINS announced the committee would wait for a clean                                                                    
version of the amended bill before going further.                                                                               

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