Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

01/24/2006 08:30 AM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 200 USE OF FORCE TO PROTECT SELF/HOME TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= SB 218 CRIMINAL SENTENCING AND POLYGRAPHS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 218(JUD) Out of Committee
+= SB 10 PARENTAL LIABILITY FOR CHILD'S DAMAGE TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
            SB 200-USE OF FORCE TO PROTECT SELF/HOME                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RALPH  SEEKINS announced SB  200 to be up  for consideration                                                              
and asked Senator Therriault to offer a summary.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:43:29 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GENE THERRIAULT,  sponsor, explained  since the  previous                                                              
hearing  the  Department  of  Law  (DOL)  has  asked  whether  the                                                              
committee  would consider  a complete re-write  of the  particular                                                              
section  in statute.  He  forwarded the  bill  to the  legislative                                                              
legal drafters  and asked for a  review. He asked for  a member of                                                              
his  staff,  along with  a  representative  from  the DOL  for  an                                                              
update on the changes.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:45:53 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  DAVE STANCLIFF,  staff to  Senator Therriault,  and Mr.  Dean                                                              
Guaneli,  Chief  Assistant Attorney  General,  Criminal  Division,                                                              
Department of Law, introduced themselves for the record.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. GUANELI  explained  the DOL  is attempting  to make the  self-                                                              
defense laws  more understandable  to the  public. He  referred to                                                              
the draft document  submitted to the committee  and explained page                                                              
1 and  2 are a cleaned  up version  of the existing  statutes. The                                                              
rest of  the document  lists all  of the  necessary amendments  in                                                              
legislative format.  The DOL has  cleaned up the language  so that                                                              
it is more understandable.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:51:39 AM                                                                                                                    
For  example,  Section  11.81.335  is the  provision  for  use  of                                                              
deadly force  in defense of self  or others. The DOL  retained the                                                              
existing  requirement  except as  provided  in subsection  (b).  A                                                              
person is  authorized to use  deadly force  if it is  necessary to                                                              
defend  against   death,  physical   injury,  kidnapping,   sexual                                                              
assault in  the first and second  degree, sexual abuse  of a minor                                                              
in the  first degree, or  robbery in any  degree. Deadly  force is                                                              
permissible unless the following four exceptions apply:                                                                         
   · Acting to further a felony criminal objective                                                                              
   · Involved in a felony drug transaction                                                                                      
  · Gang activity establishing control over a geographic area                                                                   
   · Using an illegal firearm                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:58:07 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  GUANELI  continued deadly  force  could  be used  unless  the                                                              
person  knows  that,  with  complete   personal  safety  and  with                                                              
complete  safety  of  others  they could  avoid  deadly  force  by                                                              
leaving  the area  of  the encounter  unless  it is  an area  that                                                              
person  owns or  is residing.  The  DOL would  propose to  broaden                                                              
that to add  areas such as a hotel  room or a scenario  of being a                                                              
guest  of the  owner. The  word  "premises" as  defined in  Alaska                                                              
criminal   law    includes   vehicles   adapted    for   overnight                                                              
accommodations.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Exception 2  [under AS 11.81.335 (b)]  says a person would  not be                                                              
required to leave  if they were in the course  of their employment                                                              
and  exception  3 would  be  when  protecting  a child  or  family                                                              
member.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
The  differences  between the  DOL  draft and  SB  200  is in  the                                                              
provision  just explained.  However,  the DOL  draft would  ensure                                                              
for a tighter, more meaningful self-defense law.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:03:44 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  GUANELI  continued  AS  11.81.340   is  current  law  and  is                                                              
sometimes  overlooked.  It  says  if a  third  party  is  lawfully                                                              
defending themselves,  someone else would  have the right  to come                                                              
to that person's aid.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:04:38 AM                                                                                                                   
The  DOL  draft  would  add  some  language  to  AS  11.81.350  by                                                              
engrafting  the   car-jacking  provision.  Subsection   (e)  would                                                              
clarify  that persons  acting under  the provision  do not  have a                                                              
duty to retreat.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:08:07 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  GRETCHEN GUESS  asked  Mr. Guaneli  whether  the DOL  was                                                              
making  a  recommendation  on  Section   1  of  SB  200  regarding                                                              
immunity.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. GUANELI said the DOL had no problem with it.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS  referred  to AS  11.81.335(a)(2)  and  noted  that                                                              
gangs  move around.  She  asked  whether the  police  are able  to                                                              
delineate gang turf in Alaska.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. GUANELI admitted  it was difficult to define a  gang under law                                                              
and difficult to identify turf.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:11:37 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR GUESS  noted that  Alaska has  a statutory definition  for                                                              
"gang."                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. GUANELI  added there is also  a definition for  "street gang",                                                              
which  is defined  as a  group of  people that  are identified  by                                                              
common clothing,  or hand  signals, or  tattoos, and have  engaged                                                              
in  a certain  number of  criminal  offenses over  the past  three                                                              
years.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  referred to  AS 11.81.350(e) of  the DOL  draft and                                                              
asked  whether a  person would  be justified  in shooting  someone                                                              
stealing their car.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. GUANELI  said only  to the extent  it is reasonably  necessary                                                              
to  terminate  theft of  the  motor  vehicle when  another  person                                                              
other than the offender is inside the vehicle.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:16:14 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. STANCLIFF  said another  thing to  consider is the  definition                                                              
of "motor vehicle."  Some people believe that boats  and airplanes                                                              
should be included.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT  wanted  to ensure the  neighborhood watch  was                                                              
exempt from  any territorial  issues, as  that is something  where                                                              
citizens patrol.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. GUANELI observed  that neighborhood watches,  while attempting                                                              
to provide  security are  not trying to  establish control  over a                                                              
neighborhood.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked  whether a felon could use  a gun that he                                                              
knows is stored  in the house in  order to protect himself  from a                                                              
home break-in.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. GUANELI  said under state law,  a non-violent felon  may still                                                              
possess a  gun but under federal  law, they cannot.  That scenario                                                              
would be  a policy call. Technically  under federal law  the felon                                                              
would be in violation.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  THERRIAULT noted  a  felon who  was  a guest  in a  house                                                              
should  be allowed  to render  assistance  to the  family if  they                                                              
were being victims of a crime.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:21:12 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR FRENCH  encouraged the sponsor  to use careful  wording on                                                              
the drafting  of the bill in relation  to the car theft  issue. He                                                              
said it  should be  worded so that  it could  not become  legal to                                                              
kill car thieves simply for stealing a vehicle.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:22:19 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. GUANELI  agreed there was ambiguity  in the draft  that should                                                              
be cleared up.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:23:06 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  SEEKINS  asked  Senator Therriault  to  bring  a  committee                                                              
substitute (CS) to the next hearing.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:23:27 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR THERRIAULT replied that was his intention.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:23:50 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEEKINS held SB 200 in committee.                                                                                         

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