Legislature(1993 - 1994)
1994-03-09 House JournalFull Journal pdf
1994-03-09 House Journal Page 2692 HB 528 HOUSE BILL NO. 528 by the House Rules Committee by request of the Governor, entitled: "An Act amending Alaska Rule of Criminal Procedure 24(d) relating to peremptory challenges of jurors in felony criminal proceedings." was read the first time and referred to the Judiciary Committee. The following fiscal notes apply: Zero fiscal notes (2), Dept. of Administration, 3/9/94 Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Law, 3/9/94 Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Public Safety, 3/9/94 The Governor's transmittal letter, dated March 9, 1994, appears below: "Dear Speaker Barnes: Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am transmitting a bill relating to peremptory challenges of jurors in felony criminal proceedings. During jury selection for felony trials, such as for murder, sexual assault, domestic violence, or child abuse, peremptory challenges are used by both prosecutors and defense lawyers to remove potential jurors from the case in an effort to obtain a fair jury to hear the case. But current court rules allow criminal defendants to peremptorily challenge 10 jurors without stating a cause, while prosecutors are only permitted to challenge six on this basis. This difference in the court rules balances the scales unfairly, tilting jury selection in favor of criminal defendants. 1994-03-09 House Journal Page 2693 HB 528 This bill will amend Alaska Rule of Criminal Procedure 24(d) to give prosecutors and defendants the same number of peremptory challenges in jury trials in felony criminal cases. This bill will help level the playing field in criminal prosecutions when trying to pick a fair jury to hear a criminal case. Also, allowing both sides six peremptory challenges may reduce the cost of criminal trials by reducing the time needed for jury selection. I urge your favorable action on this bill. Sincerely, /s/ Walter J. Hickel Governor"