Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

01/19/2006 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
Heard & Held
+ SB 10 PARENTAL LIABILITY FOR CHILD'S DAMAGE TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                        January 19, 2006                                                                                        
                           8:54 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Charlie Huggins, Vice Chair                                                                                             
Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                         
Senator Hollis French                                                                                                           
Senator Gretchen Guess                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ralph Seekins, Chair                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
SENATE BILL NO. 200                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to defense of self, other persons, and                                                                         
property."                                                                                                                      
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 218                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to periodic polygraph examinations for sex                                                                     
offenders released on probation or parole and to sentencing for                                                                 
sex offenders and habitual criminals."                                                                                          
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 10                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to liability for destruction of property by                                                                    
unemancipated minors; and providing for an effective date."                                                                     
     SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
BILL: SB 200                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: USE OF FORCE TO PROTECT SELF/HOME                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) THERRIAULT                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
05/10/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/10/05       (S)       JUD                                                                                                    
01/19/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 218                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CRIMINAL SENTENCING AND POLYGRAPHS                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) BUNDE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
01/09/06       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 12/30/05                                                                              
01/09/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/09/06       (S)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
01/19/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                         
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 200                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Brian Judy                                                                                                                  
Alaska National Rifle Association                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 200                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator Con Bunde                                                                                                               
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 218                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Anna Fairclough, Executive Director                                                                                         
Standing Together Against Rape                                                                                                  
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 218                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Susan Parkes, Deputy Attorney General                                                                                       
Criminal Division                                                                                                               
Department of Law                                                                                                               
PO Box 110300                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0300                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 200 and SB 218                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Portia Parker, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                          
Department of Corrections                                                                                                       
431 N. Franklin, Suite 400                                                                                                      
Juneau, AK 99801                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 218                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
VICE-CHAIR CHARLIE  HUGGINS called the Senate  Judiciary Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 8:54:20 AM.  Present were Senators                                                             
Hollis French,  Gene Therriault,  Gretchen Guess,  and Vice-Chair                                                               
Charlie Huggins.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:55:05 AM                                                                                                                    
VICE-CHAIR CHARLIE  HUGGINS announced that Senator  Ralph Seekins                                                               
would  not be  in attendance  today.  He explained  there was  no                                                               
intent  to  move  any  bills  heard  but  that  introduction  and                                                               
testimony would be held.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
            SB 200-USE OF FORCE TO PROTECT SELF/HOME                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
VICE-CHAIR  CHARLIE  HUGGINS  announced  SB  200  to  be  up  for                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:55:24 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GENE  THERRIAULT, bill sponsor,  presented SB  200, which                                                               
he  said was  introduced  at  the end  of  session  last year.  A                                                               
similar  law   was  enacted   in  Florida   through  overwhelming                                                               
bipartisan  support. He  expressed interest  in hearing  from the                                                               
Department of  Law any concerns  or comments they might  have. SB                                                               
200 is not intended to promote  undue force but to establish as a                                                               
baseline the  right of  a person to  stand their  ground wherever                                                               
they have  a legal right to  be and use whatever  force necessary                                                               
to protect  themselves or,  in certain cases,  others. It  is not                                                               
the intent of the bill to cause lawlessness among the populace.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:58:37 AM                                                                                                                    
VICE-CHAIR HUGGINS called the first witness.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:59:38 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. BRIAN JUDY,  representing the Alaska members  of the National                                                               
Rifle  Association, testified  in  support of  SB  200, which  he                                                               
believes is  based on  the "Castle Doctrine"  from the  Bible. It                                                               
basically  says that  a person's  home is  their castle  and they                                                               
have every right to protect it.  The principle of having no guilt                                                               
for  injuring  or  killing  an  intruder  is  found  in  the  Old                                                               
Testament in Exodus  22:2. Essentially people have a  right to be                                                               
as safe in  their homes as a  king in his castle and  may use all                                                               
manner of  force including deadly  force to protect the  home and                                                               
its inhabitants  from attack. He  said under existing  Alaska law                                                               
there is  already a provision of  no duty to retreat  if a person                                                               
is on  the premises,  which the  person owns,  or leases.  SB 200                                                               
would extend  that to any place  where the person has  a right to                                                               
be.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:01:27 AM                                                                                                                    
Under SB  200 a  person does  not have to  retreat and  can fight                                                               
using force  against force. SB  200 would not give  carte blanche                                                               
authority  to  shoot  someone  for a  minor  offense  or  attack.                                                               
Another  component of  SB 200  is the  provision of  immunity for                                                               
victims  who  have used  lawful  defensive  force to  prevent  an                                                               
attack.  Criminals and  their families  would be  prohibited from                                                               
suing  the victims  for injuries  incurred by  the attacker.  Mr.                                                               
Judy  recommended adding  "or another  person" to  Page 2  line 6                                                               
after  the words  "for  self defense"  as  a possible  amendment.                                                               
Also, in addition  to removing the duty to  retreat and providing                                                               
immunity from  civil liability,  provide an  absolute presumption                                                               
that  anyone  who unlawfully  and  forcefully  enters a  person's                                                               
dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle  is there to do harm and                                                               
therefore any  manner of  force can be  used against  that person                                                               
without fear  of prosecution or  civil suit. He said  the Florida                                                               
Times Union,  a mainstream newspaper,  is in full support  of the                                                               
similar law that their Legislature recently passed.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:05:36 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. JUDY closed by urging support for the bill.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
VICE-CHAIR  HUGGINS  asked  Mr.  Judy  whether  there  have  been                                                               
instances where the new law in Florida has been invoked.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. JUDY said he has not heard of  any. He said SB 200 would only                                                               
change what  would happen after  the fact. It would  prevent law-                                                               
abiding citizens from being victims a second time.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked about  current legislative action around                                                               
the country since the Florida law passed.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:07:27 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. JUDY stated  that many sessions are just  beginning now, such                                                               
as  Alaska,   but  that  many  states   are  introducing  similar                                                               
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:08:46 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GRETCHEN  GUESS referred to  Page 2 lines 9-15  and asked                                                               
whether a  person would  be liable  for whatever  damage occurred                                                               
while shooting towards a person who was shooting at them.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT responded  the bill would not  remove the duty                                                               
to take care  not to harm others while  defending oneself against                                                               
an aggressor.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HOLLIS FRENCH  asked Mr. Judy to explain  the places that                                                               
a person has a right to be.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT  explained obvious  places such as  a person's                                                               
own home or car. However,  there are also ordinances where police                                                               
could  exempt  people from  being  in  places they  are  normally                                                               
welcome but SB 200 would operate  within the bounds of many other                                                               
laws.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:12:05 AM                                                                                                                    
VICE-CHAIR   HUGGINS  aired   the   concerns  of   some  of   his                                                               
constituents  in that  they believe  a degree  of protection  for                                                               
defending oneself is needed. He expressed support for the bill.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  THERRIAULT clarified  a person  would have  no right  to                                                               
harm a law enforcement officer in the course of duty.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS referred  to Page 2 line 10 where  "to a certainty"                                                               
was inserted. She asked for an explanation of the phrase.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  THERRIAULT deferred  the question  to the  Department of                                                               
Law but said that it was a very high standard.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:14:20 AM                                                                                                                    
VICE-CHAIR   HUGGINS  asked   for  a   representative  from   the                                                               
Department of Law.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:14:39 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  SUSAN PARKES,  Deputy Attorney  General, Criminal  Division,                                                               
Department of  Law (DOL) said  she met with  Senator Therriault's                                                               
staff to address  some concerns about the bill.  "To a certainty"                                                               
was one of the issues discussed.  The phrase is a higher standard                                                               
than what  is currently the  law. The concern is  the prosecution                                                               
already  has the  obligation to  disprove  self-defense beyond  a                                                               
reasonable  doubt.   Adding  that  phrase  makes   it  an  almost                                                               
impossible standard, however it is  not defined and it would need                                                               
to be when giving instruction to jurors.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:16:39 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  THERRIAULT asked  Ms. Parkes  to speak  more about  gang                                                               
scenarios and how the bill would affect that.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PARKES said  two years  ago with  the Governor's  crime bill                                                               
they carved out areas where self-defense  could not be used as an                                                               
excuse for  violence. When engaged  in a felony  drug transaction                                                               
or  when  promoting  a gang  objective,  self-defense  cannot  be                                                               
claimed. The  DOL supports  giving lawful  rights to  citizens to                                                               
defend their families however, she  expressed concern that SB 200                                                               
would protect criminals as well.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:18:31 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  FRENCH commented  the  right  to self-defense  pre-dates                                                               
government.   He   asked  Ms.   Parkes   whether   she  has   had                                                               
conversations  with  prosecution  agencies   in  Florida  to  see                                                               
whether the new law was working as intended.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. PARKES responded the DOL  intends to contact Florida to check                                                               
whether the law is working or if it has created problems.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  said SB  200 is  perceived by  at least  one high                                                               
profile  criminal defense  lawyer as  an avenue  to make  it more                                                               
difficult for the state to  prosecute gun crimes. It is currently                                                               
very  difficult to  get over  the self-defense  hurdle. The  flip                                                               
side is that citizens should  feel entitled to defend themselves.                                                               
He  solicited  examples  from  anyone   in  the  room  or  online                                                               
instances  of citizens  having failed  to defend  themselves when                                                               
they should  have and/or citizens being  prosecuted for defending                                                               
themselves when they should not have been prosecuted.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:21:49 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  PARKES commented  currently a  person has  the right  to use                                                               
deadly  force in  a  public  place or  anywhere  under  a lot  of                                                               
circumstances. That  is already protected under  current law. The                                                               
biggest  concern is  the innocent  bystander  issue that  Senator                                                               
Guess raised. The  law does not have the  requirement that people                                                               
be a "good shot."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:23:47 AM                                                                                                                    
VICE-CHAIR  HUGGINS   asked  Ms.  Parkes  the   impact  of  civil                                                               
liability in regards to the bill.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. PARKES  informed the chairman  that Section 1  gives immunity                                                               
if  self-defense  was properly  used.  The  DOL has  no  concerns                                                               
regarding Section 1.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:26:28 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. PARKES  continued by  noting much  public support  for people                                                               
who want  to protect  their homes  and businesses.  Therefore the                                                               
DOL  is looking  forward  to  working on  the  bill with  Senator                                                               
Therriault's  staff.   Representative  Coghill  has   drafted  an                                                               
identical bill as well.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
VICE-CHAIR HUGGINS  asked for further  testimony. Seeing  none he                                                               
announced the committee would set SB 200 aside.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
           SB 218-CRIMINAL SENTENCING AND POLYGRAPHS                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:35:12 AM                                                                                                                    
VICE-CHAIR  CHARLIE  HUGGINS  announced  SB  218  to  be  up  for                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR CON BUNDE,  bill sponsor, introduced SB 218  with a short                                                               
summary of the  bill. SB 218 would increase  the minimum sentence                                                               
for the most  egregious unclassified and Class  A sexual felonies                                                               
to  a  minimum  of  25  years. It  proposes  to  restructure  and                                                               
increase sentencing  in Class C  and Class B sexual  offenses. It                                                               
would  require  periodic  polygraph  testing  for  repeat  sexual                                                               
offenders who are  on probation or parole and  it would implement                                                               
changes in the sex offender registry.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Alaska  has  the reputation  of  having  the highest  per  capita                                                               
sexual abuse  rate in the nation.  Reported cases are the  tip of                                                               
the iceberg since  many offenses go unreported.  Current laws are                                                               
not working and serious changes must be made.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:39:14 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BUNDE  advised the  committee  that  the bill  would  be                                                               
expensive for  the state but  a necessary cost. The  polygraph is                                                               
not admissible  in court but other  states have found it  to work                                                               
well at reducing  recidivism rates. He indicated a  report in the                                                               
bill packet  that shows  treatment does  not achieve  the desired                                                               
results and does  very little to reduce  re-offending. He thanked                                                               
Senator Guess for her work on the bill.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:42:17 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GUESS moved  to adopt a committee substitute  (CS) for SB                                                               
218, version I. Hearing no objection, the motion carried.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  THERRIAULT asked  for an  explanation  of the  amendment                                                               
that accompanied the CS.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
VICE-CHAIR HUGGINS ordered  committee members to hold  off on the                                                               
amendment  process  but  asked   Senator  Guess  to  explain  the                                                               
proposed amendment.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS explained  the amendment  in the  packet would  be                                                               
Amendment 1 at  some point. It moves sexual assault  of a minor 3                                                               
(SAM3) that  has to do with  sexual penetration to SAM2.  It says                                                               
that in  Alaska sexual assault  of a minor with  penetration will                                                               
be either  a SAM1  or SAM2  offense. Also,  an attempt  at sexual                                                               
penetration of  a minor  would result in  a SAM3  charge. Current                                                               
law says that an attempt would  be a misdemeanor so the amendment                                                               
would deem anything  that has to do with sexual  penetration of a                                                               
minor to be an automatic felony.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:44:34 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  THERRIAULT asked  the outcome  of a  case that  was pled                                                               
down.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  deferred to  Ms. Parkes except  to say  there were                                                               
two areas:  sexual penetration and sexual  contact. The amendment                                                               
deals specifically  with penetration,  which has a  definition in                                                               
statute. Sexual contact can be pled down to a misdemeanor.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:45:50 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BUNDE  added  the  impact  on  the  minor  mentally  and                                                               
physically is  far more egregious  than the punishment  doled out                                                               
to the offender. SB 218 would  prove that the state shows serious                                                               
concern for the victims.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
VICE-CHAIR HUGGINS called Anna Fairclough to testify.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:47:52 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  ANNA  FAIRCLOUGH,   Executive  Director,  Standing  Together                                                               
Against  Rape (STAR),  testified their  organization supports  SB                                                               
218.  Alaskans need  to institute  harsher and  longer sentencing                                                               
for better  protection of its  citizens. She claimed that  as men                                                               
age they  become less  likely to  perpetrate so  longer sentences                                                               
would serve to help eliminate re-offenses.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:53:53 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH commented the use  of a polygraph exposes far more                                                               
victims  than people  are aware  of. An  Alaska Judicial  Counsel                                                               
report of  2004 said 91  percent of  sexual assault in  the first                                                               
degree charges  resulted in reduced  charges. 79 percent  of SAM1                                                               
and 83 percent  of SAM2 cases ended up with  reduced or dismissed                                                               
charges. He  expressed concern regarding the  pressure within the                                                               
system to reduce charges for expediency purposes.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:57:35 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BUNDE  said  that  since  all  the  sentences  would  be                                                               
ratcheted  up,  there  would still  be  substantially  more  time                                                               
served even if  the person were to plead down.  However, he would                                                               
rather the perpetrator be prosecuted to the fullest extent.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  referred to page  5 section 6 and  highlighted the                                                               
importance  of  the  polygraph  section   as  being  a  tool  for                                                               
protecting the public.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT agreed with the  polygraph section of the bill                                                               
but expressed concern over the accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:01:45 AM                                                                                                                   
VICE-CHAIR  HUGGINS asked  Senator  Bunde  whether the  polygraph                                                               
responsibility would lie with the Department of Corrections.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BUNDE said  yes but that the offender would  have to bear                                                               
some of the  cost. He added that perpetrators are  generally in a                                                               
state of denial and the polygraph would help stem the deceit.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
VICE-CHAIR   HUGGINS   called   for  representatives   from   the                                                               
Department of Law  (DOL) and the Department  of Corrections (DOC)                                                               
to testify.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:04:47 AM                                                                                                                   
MS.  SUSAN PARKES,  Deputy Attorney  General, Criminal  Division,                                                               
Department   of  Law   (DOL)  and   MS.  PORTIA   PARKER,  Deputy                                                               
Commissioner,   Department   of  Corrections   (DOC)   introduced                                                               
themselves.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PARKES  advised  the committee  that  the  department  fully                                                               
support the  bill. It targets  sex offenders and sends  a message                                                               
throughout  the state  that this  type  of behavior  will not  be                                                               
tolerated.  The  DOL normally  operates  in  a reactive  mode  in                                                               
response to re-offenders but the  polygraph section would work as                                                               
an   active,   important,   pro-active   tool.   The   department                                                               
anticipates that  there would  be additional  costs to  the court                                                               
system.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Plea-bargaining would continue to  occur simply because sex abuse                                                               
cases are  difficult to  prosecute. Often  victims are  found not                                                               
competent to testify, and sometimes  parents plead not to put the                                                               
child on the  stand. The system cannot allow every  case to go to                                                               
trial. She said four percent of  all felony cases go to trial yet                                                               
despite that, there is a backlog  in the system. There has been a                                                               
bill  introduced  by  the  Governor to  increase  the  number  of                                                               
superior court judges around the  state to deal specifically with                                                               
the criminal backlog.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:09:42 AM                                                                                                                   
On the average there are  approximately 300 felony trials waiting                                                               
for  trial, and  that includes  homicide. Overall,  despite plea-                                                               
bargaining, SB 218 would still  put sex offenders behind bars and                                                               
once  they  are  out  they  will  be  polygraphed.  SB  218  also                                                               
recognizes  that there  are people  who should  never get  out of                                                               
prison.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:11:12 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  THERRIAULT   asked  Ms.  Parkes  whether   the  DOL  has                                                               
considered just  using the polygraph system  to keep perpetrators                                                               
from re-offending rather than also  upping sentencing, which adds                                                               
great costs to the state.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. PARKES said  extending the sentences for  repeat offenders is                                                               
appropriate.  In terms  of the  new ranges,  they are  higher for                                                               
victims  under  13 years  of  age,  so  that  is a  target  area.                                                               
Testimony shows  there would be  more victims were  the sentences                                                               
to remain lighter.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:13:30 AM                                                                                                                   
MS.  PARKER  elaborated the  US  Department  of Justice  training                                                               
shows using  the polygraph is  best practices, yet even  with the                                                               
best  possible supervision,  there  are  still re-offenders.  The                                                               
polygraph  provides  more  information   and  results  in  better                                                               
offender management and so it  does allow for better supervision.                                                               
When the  full model  is implemented, offenders  tend to  be more                                                               
successful. Longer sentences should  be dealt to repeat offenders                                                               
and/or psychopaths for the safety of the public.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:17:17 AM                                                                                                                   
Relapse  is always  a risk  with  sex offenders.  The best  thing                                                               
about the polygraph is it gives  a lot of information that can be                                                               
shared  with  the treatment  provider  and  with the  supervising                                                               
officer.  It  results  in  preventing  crimes  and  provides  for                                                               
quicker intervention.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:19:12 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR THERRIAULT wondered whether it  made more sense to impose                                                               
longer probation instead  of longer sentences. He  said since the                                                               
polygraph has  been proven  to work in  keeping sex  offenders on                                                               
the right  path, would it  be more  cost effective to  try longer                                                               
probation with polygraph.  He also asked the  experience of other                                                               
states that have used polygraph extensively.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. PARKER stated there was  success when used with treatment and                                                               
supervision with the polygraph. What  offenders say is it is like                                                               
having  a constant  leash. The  polygraph test  is usually  given                                                               
quarterly.  Other  states  have lifetime  probation  for  certain                                                               
level sex offenders depending on  risk. Incarceration is the only                                                               
way to make sure the offenders are not out causing more victims.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:22:55 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR THERRIAULT  asked whether Alaska was  obligated under the                                                               
Interstate  Compact  Act  to  accept  sex  offenders  from  other                                                               
states.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PARKER  said  due  to   the  Interstate  Compact  Guidelines                                                               
interstate  travel is  easier for  sex offenders.  However, under                                                               
certain  conditions  Alaska  has  the  ability  to  disallow  sex                                                               
offenders from entering the state.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked  whether Alaska would be  able to impose                                                               
a polygraph on  someone who was convicted on a  sex offense under                                                               
a jurisdiction that did not have the polygraph testing.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. PARKER said absolutely.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:24:08 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR FRENCH  asked Ms. Parker whether  polygraph testing could                                                               
be instituted for  the people who were already  in prison serving                                                               
their sentences for a sex abuse crime.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. PARKER  informed members there  is a current project  for sex                                                               
offenders on parole to get  a special condition added that allows                                                               
for the  polygraph but they  currently are limited to  the number                                                               
of offenders they  can polygraph due to a  shortage of examiners.                                                               
The DOC  is specifically  asking to add  the polygraph  for high-                                                               
risk offenders as a condition of their parole.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:26:29 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR FRENCH asked whether probation  officers would be trained                                                               
to administer  polygraphs and how  the examiners would  cover the                                                               
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PARKER  advised  that  the   DOC  does  not  currently  have                                                               
corrections  officers run  polygraphs.  They use  a sex  offender                                                               
specific provider.  Colorado first  started in 1989  by requiring                                                               
that  all sex  offenders be  subject  to polygraph  testing as  a                                                               
condition to  parole and  they went  from using  two to  using 33                                                               
polygraph examiners.  She recommended that Alaska  have more than                                                               
one  provider  in the  case  of  disputes. The  contractor  would                                                               
travel to  remote locations.  There are  providers who  desire to                                                               
come to Alaska but have not  yet as there currently is not enough                                                               
work.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:29:54 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR FRENCH  asked whether the  DOL expects a  court challenge                                                               
to  the law  regarding extended  sentences. He  expressed concern                                                               
that the proposed sentence ranges  are stiffer than murder in the                                                               
second degree.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. PARKES admitted that is  a concern, which has been discussed.                                                               
The  bill proposes  a dramatic  jump on  the sentence  range. She                                                               
encouraged  the Legislature  to put  on the  record the  findings                                                               
behind why  the changes  are being  made. A  letter of  intent or                                                               
appropriate  justification  would  be in  order  to  pro-actively                                                               
address any such challenges.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:32:02 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR GUESS mentioned  she and Senator Bunde were  aware of the                                                               
findings requested by the DOL.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  THERRIAULT asked  whether a  letter of  intent would  be                                                               
enough or whether findings were necessary.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. PARKES  stated actual findings  would give the basis  and the                                                               
facts the Legislature relied to reach their conclusion.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS  asked  whether  a polygraph  could  be  added  to                                                               
probation conditions for people who were currently in prison.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:34:45 AM                                                                                                                   
MS. PARKES responded people who  have already been sentenced with                                                               
conditions  already  set  by  a judge  probably  could  not  have                                                               
additional conditions added.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. PARKER added  with parole there is no  supervision unless the                                                               
person already has probation.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT mentioned  one of the fiscal  notes was signed                                                               
by  the director  of  the  Office of  Public  Advocacy and  asked                                                               
whether that was a technical issue.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Huggins held SB 218 in committee.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Vice-Chair Huggins adjourned the meeting at 10:36:55 AM.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                

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