HB 523: "An Act amending Alaska Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(r) relating to admissibility of hearsay evidence by peace officers before the grand jury."

00HOUSE BILL NO. 523 01 "An Act amending Alaska Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(r) relating to 02 admissibility of hearsay evidence by peace officers before the grand jury." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE. The legislature finds that existing court rules 05 require each peace officer with essential information on a criminal investigation to personally 06 appear before a grand jury to present evidence about the investigation. The legislature further 07 finds that oftentimes an individual officer may have only a minor piece of evidence to present 08 but court rules still require that officer to personally appear and testify even though the 09 evidence could be presented by a supervising officer or other officer on the investigating team. 10 The legislature also finds that this requirement takes peace officers away from other essential 11 duties to protect the public. The legislature finds that the purpose of the amendment to Alaska 12 Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(r) made by this Act is to allow the grand jury to be fully 13 informed about the evidence available on a criminal case through testimony of lead peace 14 officers, while allowing officers who played a minor role in the investigation not to personally

01 appear and testify so that they can continue to perform their vital duties on the street to protect 02 the public. 03 * Sec. 2. Alaska Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(r) is amended to read: 04  (r) ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE. 05  (1) Evidence which would be legally admissible at trial shall be 06 admissible before the grand jury. In appropriate cases, however, witnesses may be 07 presented to summarize admissible evidence if the admissible evidence will be 08 available at trial. Except as stated in subparagraphs (2) and (3) [SUBPARAGRAPH 09 (2)], hearsay evidence shall not be presented to the grand jury absent compelling 10 justification for its introduction. If hearsay evidence is presented to the grand jury, the 11 reasons for its use shall be stated on the record. 12  (2) In a prosecution for an offense under AS 11.41.410 - 11.41.440 or 13 11.41.455, hearsay evidence of a statement related to the offense, not otherwise 14 admissible, made by a child who is the victim of the offense may be admitted into 15 evidence before the grand jury if 16  (i) the circumstances of the statement indicate its reliability; 17  (ii) the child is under 10 years of age when the hearsay 18 evidence is sought to be admitted; 19  (iii) additional evidence is introduced to corroborate the 20 statement; and 21  (iv) the child testifies at the grand jury proceeding or the child 22 will be available to testify at trial. 23  (3) Hearsay evidence related to the offense, not otherwise 24 admissible, may be admitted into evidence before the grand jury if 25  (i) the individual presenting the hearsay evidence is a peace 26 officer; and 27  (ii) the hearsay evidence consists of the statements and 28 observations made by another peace officer in the course of an 29 investigation. 30  (4) In this section "statement" means an oral or written assertion or 31 nonverbal conduct if the nonverbal conduct is intended as an assertion.

01 * Sec. 3. This Act takes effect only if sec. 2 of this Act receives the two-thirds majority 02 vote of each house required by art. IV, sec. 15, of the Constitution of the State of Alaska.