Legislature(1993 - 1994)
02/24/1993 01:00 PM House JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE February 24, 1993 1:00 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Rep. Brian Porter, Chairman Rep. Jeannette James, Vice-Chair Rep. Pete Kott Rep. Gail Phillips Rep. Joe Green Rep. Cliff Davidson Rep. Jim Nordlund MEMBERS ABSENT None COMMITTEE CALENDAR HB 69: "An Act relating to registration of and information about sex offenders and amending Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure 11(c) and 32(b)." HELD FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION HB 97: "An Act clarifying the responsibilities of the Department of Health and Social Services and parents for children who are committed to the custody of the department and are placed by the department with the parents; and providing for an effective date." NOT HEARD WITNESS REGISTER DEBRA GERRISH 9202 Emily Way Juneau, Alaska 99801 Phone: 789-3236 Position Statement: Supported HB 69 GAYLE HORETSKI Committee Counsel House Judiciary Committee State Capitol, Room 120 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Phone: 465-4990 Position Statement: Discussed HB 69 C E. SWACKHAMMER Deputy Commissioner Department of Public Safety P.O. Box 111200 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0200 Phone: 465-4322 Position Statement: Discussed HB 69 MARGOT KNUTH Assistant Attorney General Criminal Division Department of Law P.O. Box 110300 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300 Phone: 465-3428 Position Statement: Discussed HB 69 DOUG WOOLIVER Staff for the House Majority Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 24 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Phone: 465-6846 Position Statement: Answered questions on HB 69 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 69 SHORT TITLE: SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BARNES,Ulmer,Phillips, Nordlund,Porter,Olberg,James,B.Davis,Green,Sanders, Toohey,Mackie TITLE: "An Act relating to registration of and information about sex offenders and amending Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure 11(c) and 32(b)." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/15/93 89 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/15/93 90 (H) STATE AFFAIRS,JUDICIARY,FINANCE 01/27/93 169 (H) COSPONSOR(S): NORDLUND 01/29/93 183 (H) COSPONSOR(S): PORTER 02/01/93 202 (H) COSPONSOR(S): OLBERG, JAMES, B.DAVIS 02/02/93 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 02/02/93 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/03/93 223 (H) COSPONSOR(S): GREEN, SANDERS, TOOHEY 02/04/93 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 02/06/93 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 02/06/93 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/08/93 250 (H) STA RPT CS(STA) 4DP 02/08/93 251 (H) DP: VEZEY,SANDERS,ULMER,G.DAVIS 02/08/93 251 (H) -2 ZERO FNS (LAW, CORR) 2/8/93 02/10/93 (H) JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120 02/10/93 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 02/18/93 383 (H) COSPONSOR(S): MACKIE 02/24/93 (H) JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120 BILL: HB 97 SHORT TITLE: PARENTAL CARE FOR CHILD IN STATE CUSTODY BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES TITLE: "An Act clarifying the responsibilities of the Department of Health and Social Services and parents for children who are committed to the custody of the department and are placed by the department with the parents; and providing for an effective date." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/29/93 177 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/29/93 178 (H) HES, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 02/08/93 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 02/08/93 (H) MINUTE(HES) 02/10/93 288 (H) HES RPT 7DP 2NR 02/10/93 288 (H) DP: BUNDE,G.DAVIS,TOOHEY,OLBERG 02/10/93 288 (H) DP: NICHOLIA,B.DAVIS,BRICE 02/10/93 288 (H) NR: KOTT, VEZEY 02/10/93 289 (H) -ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DHSS) 2/10/93 02/17/93 (H) JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120 02/17/93 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 02/24/93 (H) JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 93-20, SIDE A Number 000 The House Judiciary Committee meeting was called to order at 2:08 p.m. on February 24, 1993. A quorum was present. CHAIRMAN PORTER announced that although two bills were scheduled to be heard, the committee would likely not have time to hear HB 97, Parental Care of Child in State Custody. The chairman announced that the committee would first take up HB 69, Sex Offender Registration. HB 69 - SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION Number 031 DEBRA GERRISH, from Juneau, testified that she had been raped 19 years earlier. She stated that for many years she feared what would happen when her attacker was released from prison. She said she supported HB 69 because she believed that victims of sex offenses should not have to live with the fear of their attackers reappearing. Number 070 CHAIRMAN PORTER commented that HB 69 would require that convicted sex offenders register with the Department of Public Safety or a local police department. He added that the registration information would be available to the public and to victims. Number 103 GAYLE HORETSKI, COMMITTEE COUNSEL TO THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, described amendments made to a proposed Judiciary committee substitute (CS). She called members' attention to a work draft dated February 24, 1993. She stated that the first change was located on page 1, section 2, of the work draft. She noted that in the work draft the specific registration requirements were set out, whereas the previous version of the bill merely stated that an offender needed to register. MS. HORETSKI added that failure to register was made a class A misdemeanor in the current work draft. She noted that in an earlier version of HB 69, failure to register was sometimes a class A misdemeanor, and other times a class B misdemeanor. Number 157 MS. HORETSKI noted a technical, cross-referencing change located in section 3, line 6. She mentioned that major changes had been made to section 4 of the work draft. She said that an earlier draft of the bill was thought to provide impediments to registration by requiring an offender to register with the state troopers. If the offender was not able to reach the state troopers, then he could register at a local police department. The current work draft, on page 2, line 19, required an offender to register with either the state troopers or a local police department. This new language was proposed by the Department of Public Safety, she added, and was supported by the chiefs of police. Number 190 MS. HORETSKI called the members' attention to page 2, line 23. She said the words "at a minimum" had been added prior to the list of registration requirements. She noted that the change would give the Department of Public Safety latitude to expand the registration requirements. She indicated that on page 2, line 27, the word "Alaska" was removed from in front of "driver's license number." MS. HORETSKI commented that the phrase "local police department" appeared throughout the current work draft. However, the drafters preferred to use the phrase "municipal police department" because it was felt that the latter phrase was more clearly defined in statute. Number 219 REP. PHILLIPS asked Ms. Horetski if "municipal police department" would, in any instance, not apply to a local police department in Alaska. Number 223 MS. HORETSKI replied that according to the drafters, "municipal police department" would apply to all local police departments in the state. REP. PHILLIPS asked if the phrase would apply to village public safety officers (VPSOs) as well. MS. HORETSKI indicated that village public safety officers would not be included in the definition of "municipal police department." She said that she recalled Deputy Commissioner Swackhammer of the Department of Public Safety saying that the department did not favor including VPSOs because they were not equipped with cameras and fingerprinting equipment. Number 237 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if using "municipal police department" would exclude the North Slope Borough police department. Number 245 DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SWACKHAMMER, of the DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, responded that the North Slope Borough was considered a municipality under Title 29 of the Alaska Statutes. He commented that in a few instances, villages had what were called village police officers. In those cases, he said, the officer's authority was conferred by the village. He said he preferred that HB 69 use the term "local police department." REP. GREEN questioned whether either "local" or "municipal" could be used. MS. HORETSKI replied that the drafter's objection was that the term "local" was not defined in statute, whereas the term "municipal" was. She said that she did not mind using the term "municipal" as long as it was broad enough to include police departments located in smaller communities that perhaps had not yet incorporated. She added that the drafters believed that the "municipal" terminology would cover those smaller departments. Number 279 CHAIRMAN PORTER commented that the test of the language was whether or not it created more questions than it answered. He noted that the statute would be interpreted by those individuals who were required to register. He said he would be more comfortable with the term "local police department" as a common knowledge term. Number 295 REP. NORDLUND said that he believed that any local, organized political subdivision was considered a municipality under state law. He commented that the term "local police department" was less precise in that it was unclear whether or not that term covered VPSOs. He said the proper terminology should be researched. Number 308 REP. PHILLIPS noted that a definition of "local police department" could be added to HB 69. Number 312 MS. HORETSKI stated that new language appeared on page 3, lines 8-11. She said subsection (e) required that an offender required to register on or after January 1, 1997, provide two specimens of blood and a saliva sample. The specimens and the sample would be sent to the Department of Public Safety for genetic typing analysis. She noted that the department wished to make some comments about this addition to the bill. Number 340 REP. PHILLIPS asked what the rationale had been behind waiting until 1997. Number 341 MS. HORETSKI replied that the state crime laboratory did not currently have the expertise to perform genetic typing analysis. REP. PHILLIPS asked if it would take three years for the department to gain that expertise. MS. HORETSKI responded that representatives of the Department of Public Safety could best address Rep. Phillips' question. Number 352 REP. GREEN asked about how an offender would go about "providing" samples and specimens. MS. HORETSKI stated that the department felt it was not capable of undertaking the genetic typing analysis at the present time. However, the bill would give the department the authority to perform the analysis in the future. She noted that in other states, offenders provided samples prior to their release from prison. She added that the Departments of Public Safety and Corrections would be able to work out cooperative procedures. She said that strict procedures for providing samples would have to be employed. She commented that HB 69 would give the Department of Public Safety the authority to adopt regulations to implement the specimen program. MS. HORETSKI indicated that the registration period had been changed in the current work draft on page 3, lines 15 and 17. She stated that for unclassified, class A, and class B felony sex offenses, an offender would have to register for 20 years, as opposed to 10 years in an earlier version of HB 69. In addition, an offender convicted of a class C felony or a class A misdemeanor sex offense would have to register for 10 years (as compared to five years in earlier versions of HB 69). Number 391 REP. PHILLIPS said that during the last committee meeting, members had requested a lifetime registration requirement. Number 394 CHAIRMAN PORTER noted that Rep. Phillips was correct. However, he noted that the Department of Law was concerned that a lifetime registration would be difficult to defend. He said that if the committee still wanted to create a lifetime registration requirement, Margot Knuth from the Department of Law should address the issue. Number 406 REP. PHILLIPS stated that she would also like to hear from the Department of Public Safety on the subject. Number 425 MS. HORETSKI noted that the definition of "sex offense" had been expanded to include the distribution of child pornography and first-degree promotion of prostitution. She added that the definition now also included references to former laws. MS. HORETSKI said that minor, technical changes had been made to section 5 on pages 3 and 4. She stated that a photograph of the offender was added to the list of information that could be released to the public. Ms. Horetski said technical changes had been made to section (c) on page 4. MS. HORETSKI stated that changes had been made to the Department of Public Safety's regulatory authority. Subsections (B) and (C) were additions to the current work draft, she said. Those two subsections specified that the department would adopt regulations to ensure the appropriate circulation to law enforcement agencies of information contained in the central registry, and to provide to local police departments the forms and directions necessary to allow offenders to comply with registration requirements. MS. HORETSKI noted that the next change was in HB 69's applicability section. She said the work draft held that an offender was required to register on the date that his or her duty arose, or on January 1, 1994, whichever date occurred later. Number 527 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked Deputy Commissioner Swackhammer if January 1, 1997, was a good date for implementation of the genetic typing analysis program. DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SWACKHAMMER replied that it was difficult to determine what an appropriate date was due to changes in technology. He commented that the department would not need a saliva sample because a single blood sample would be sufficient for the department's purposes. He noted that with current technology, genetic typing analysis would be cost-prohibitive for the department. He said he saw the advantage of having the ability to do that testing allowed in statute, with the program implemented as technology allowed. He noted that the department projected that it would not be able to implement the program for at least two years. Number 557 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if HB 69 could provide that the department was authorized to conduct genetic typing analysis when technology was available. Number 561 DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SWACKHAMMER responded that he did not think that was possible. He said he agreed with Ms. Horetski on her approach of including a date certain for implementing the program. He expressed his belief that it would be easier to include a date in the bill at the time, rather than amending the law later. He recommended that the committee strike language relating to saliva samples. He also recommended that HB 69 mention that the department would adopt regulations for how samples would be provided. CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if the regulations section of the bill did not already provide for that. Number 580 MS. HORETSKI said she believed that the regulations section already provided for implementing the specimen program. She called the members' attention to page 4, line 18, of the work draft. Number 590 DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SWACKHAMMER stated that the department would implement the program so as to ensure that samples came from a particular offender. REP. PHILLIPS commented that the safe thing to do would be to include the January 1, 1997, date in the bill. She said the department could ask for an amendment to the law if it was apparent that the program could not be implemented by that date. REP. GREEN asked if the language pertaining to genetic typing analysis should be dropped from the bill. A discussion ensued among committee members, Ms. Horetski, and Deputy Commissioner Swackhammer over what to do about the genetic typing analysis language. Number 612 CHAIRMAN PORTER noted that striking the language would not preclude the department from conducting genetic typing analyses, but would allow the department to adopt regulations that included that type of analysis. Number 632 MS. HORETSKI suggested a language change that required a sex offender to "provide a specimen of blood adequate for genetic typing analysis, including analysis of DNA." Number 644 REP. GREEN commented that he did not want to require the Department of Public Safety to do something that they might not want to do. Number 648 CHAIRMAN PORTER noted that the suggested language required that a specimen be adequate for doing a certain type of analysis, but did not require that this type of analysis be performed. He asked Deputy Commissioner Swackhammer to comment on the duration of the registration requirements. Number 659 DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SWACKHAMMER said that he was in favor of a lifetime registration requirement. However, he said he understood that there were legal complications surrounding lifetime registration requirements. Number 671 ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL MARGOT KNUTH, of the DEPARTMENT OF LAW'S CRIMINAL DIVISION, stated that it would be helpful to know about the experiences of other states which had lifetime registration requirements. She added that she did not know whether or not Alaska could enact a lifetime registration requirement. She said that most individuals would find it reasonable to require lifetime registration for predatory sex offenders. She stated that the problem that she foresaw was that the definition of "sex offenders" included some fairly "minor" sex offenses, including statutory rape. MS. KNUTH commented that due process laws required a relationship between legitimate goals of government and requirements such as registration of sex offenders. She noted that the Alaska constitution had the goals of reaffirming societal norms and rehabilitating offenders. She expressed her concern that the court system could view a lifetime registration requirement as inconsistent with rehabilitation of "non-classic" sex offenders. MS. KNUTH said that she was also concerned about what would happen if the courts determined that lifetime registration of certain sex offenders was a problem. She commented that the courts could throw out the entire registration law, or could tinker with the law to come up with acceptable registration periods for certain offenders. Number 717 REP. PHILLIPS noted that it would be a good idea for the committee to hear about the experiences of other states. She indicated that she would prefer lifetime registration for offenders if the precedent of lifetime registration had held up to challenges in other states. Number 729 REP. GREEN asked why registration periods of 10 and 20 years had been placed in HB 69. Number 729 MS. KNUTH said that the numbers were probably a result of simply wanting higher numbers than had been in earlier versions of HB 69. Number 732 DOUG WOOLIVER, STAFF TO THE HOUSE MAJORITY, said there are currently at least eight states that have lifetime registration requirements for sex offenders. He stated that the state of Washington had a lifetime registration requirement for class A felonies, 15 years for class B felonies, and 10 years for class C felonies. He noted that if the committee was concerned that lifetime registration for lesser sex crimes might be excessively severe, the Washington model might be a good one to follow. MR. WOOLIVER commented that the Washington law was currently being challenged. He said the law had been upheld at the appellate level last summer. He added that the law had been argued before the Washington Supreme Court, but a decision had not yet been issued. He indicated that numerous states had lifetime registration requirements. Number 759 REP. GREEN commented that he liked the approach taken by Washington state, as it would likely protect against the courts throwing out the registration requirements entirely. CHAIRMAN PORTER asked Mr. Wooliver if the Alaska Statutes lent themselves to the division of registration periods, as the state of Washington had done. MR. WOOLIVER said that Alaska could break down its registration requirements in a manner similar to the state of Washington. Number 775 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if the committee wished for staff to develop language creating such a breakdown of registration periods. REP. PHILLIPS indicated that this was her desire, and commented that the minimum registration period should be 10 years. MS. HORETSKI asked if the committee approved of a lifetime registration requirement for offenders convicted of unclassified, class A, or class B felony sex offenses, and a 10 year registration requirement for offenders convicted of class C felony sex offenses or class A misdemeanor sex offenses. Number 789 MS. KNUTH suggested a lifetime registration for unclassified and class A felonies, because both crimes carried presumptive sentences. She said the presumptive sentences were an indication of the seriousness of the crimes involved. She suggested that class B and class C felonies, and misdemeanors, be given registration periods of less than lifetime. CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if it would be logical to have one registration period for class B and class C felonies, and a shorter period for misdemeanors. MS. KNUTH said that the chairman's suggestion was logical. TAPE 93-20, SIDE B Number 005 CHAIRMAN PORTER suggested a 25 year registration period for class B and C felonies, and a 10 year registration period for misdemeanors. Number 010 MS. KNUTH commented that the 25 year period for class B and class C felonies exceeded the Washington state law by far. MR. WOOLIVER responded that Washington state had a 15 year registration requirement for class B felonies and a 10 year registration period for class C felonies. Number 023 REP. PHILLIPS stated that since the current work draft of HB 69 required a 20 year registration period for class B felonies, they could leave that requirement as it was, adding class C felonies to that requirement. A 10 year requirement could be placed on misdemeanor offenders, she said. MS. KNUTH commented that if the courts had a problem with registration periods in the bill, they would likely just lower one level down to the next level, instead of striking down the entire law. Number 040 CHAIRMAN PORTER noted that Alaska had a constitutional right to privacy, and that right needed to be kept in mind. He asked the committee members if any other issues required discussion. REP. PHILLIPS replied that the issue of local police departments versus municipal police departments needed to be researched. Number 074 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked Ms. Horetski if she were aware of a police department that the committee considered local and capable of receiving registration information, but which was not located within a municipality. Number 080 MS. HORETSKI responded that she did not know the answer to the chairman's question. Number 084 DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SWACKHAMMER stated that he had asked department officials to identify villages that had police officers. He noted that there was a difference between village public safety officers and village police officers. He said the department would provide that information to the committee later. Number 095 CHAIRMAN PORTER announced that HB 69 would be back before the committee on the following Friday. CHAIRMAN PORTER indicated there was not time to hear HB 97. CHAIRMAN PORTER asked the committee to consider introducing as a committee bill a House bill which had died the previous year in the Senate Rules Committee. The bill dealt with the state's right to appeal in criminal cases, he said. Hearing no objection, he announced that the bill would be introduced as a Judiciary Committee bill. ADJOURNMENT CHAIRMAN PORTER adjourned the meeting at 2:55 p.m.