Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/17/1994 01:30 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  HOUSE BILL NO. 313                                                           
       "An Act relating  to suspended  imposition of  criminal                 
       sentences and to the period in which suspension  of the                 
       imposition of sentence  for conviction of the  crime of                 
       disorderly conduct may be authorized."                                  
  GEORGE DOZIER,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  PETE KOTT  summarized                 
  CSHB 313 (JUD).   He  noted that the  legislation amends  AS                 
  12.55.085(a).  This section grants authority to the court to                 
  bestow a suspended imposition of sentence in criminal cases.                 
  He  noted that  aN  individual found  guilty of  violating a                 
  criminal  conviction  could  be  put  on probation  under  a                 
  suspended  imposition  of  sentence.     If  the  individual                 
  complies  with  all  the  terms   and  conditions  of  their                 
  probation,  sentence  is  not  imposed  and  the  underlying                 
  judgement is  vacated.     He explained  that the  suspended                 
  imposition  of  sentence  (SIS)  is  generally employed  for                 
  offenses that  are not of  a serious  or grave  nature.   He                 
  observed  that  SIS's commonly  involve  youthful offenders.                 
  The  SIS is  limited to the  length of time  that the person                 
  could receive as jail time for the crime, under current law.                 
  He noted that some class B  misdemeanors are limited to 10 -                 
  90 days  of jail time.  He maintained that  the 10 - 90 days                 
  is  not sufficient for  the offender  to be  observed during                 
  suspended  imposition of  sentence.   The legislation  would                 
  allow the  SIS to be  equal to the  amount of time  a person                 
  could be sentenced  to jail or up to one  year, whichever is                 
  the greater amount.  He noted that only class B misdemeanors                 
  would be effected.                                                           
  Representative  Navarre  asked if  there  would be  a fiscal                 
  impact if the probation is  increased.  Mr. Dozier explained                 
  that the probation does not include active monitoring of the                 
  offender.  At the end of the probation period the offender's                 
  file is consulted and  if no petitions for revocations  have                 
  been filed the judgement is vacated.                                         
  In response  to a question  by Co-Chair MacLean,  Mr. Dozier                 
  explained that if  an offender commits a violation  while on                 
  SIS the court has the ability to revoke probation and impose                 
  the original sentence.                                                       
  Ms. Knuth observed that the Department of Law, Department of                 
  Corrections  and  Alaska  Court   System  all  support   the                 
  legislation.    She maintained  that  CSHB 313  (JUD) allows                 
  courts to use SIS  in more cases.  She noted  that the court                 
  is not entering  SIS's in cases  currently due to the  short                 
  period of probation.   She anticipated that  more SIS's will                 
  be issued if the legislation is passed.  She emphasized that                 
  the  records of  offenders  will  be  vacated if  they  have                 
  complied  with  the  conditions  of  their probation.    She                 
  expounded  that  the  court  has  requested  that  SIS's  be                 
  expanded to a one year period.                                               
  In  response  to a  question  by Representative  Martin, Ms.                 
  Knuth clarified  that Alaska  statute addresses  which cases                 
  can be granted a SIS.  She noted that SIS's cannot be issued                 
  for sexual offenses.                                                         
  Co-Chair  MacLean MOVED  to  report CSHB  313  (JUD) out  of                 
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal notes.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was                 
  so ordered.                                                                  
  CSHB 313  (JUD) was  reported out  of Committee  with a  "do                 
  pass"  recommendation  and   with  six  zero   fiscal  notes                 
  published 2/9/94, two  by the Department of  Administration,                 
  one  by  the Department  of Law,  one  by the  Department of                 
  Public Safety, one by the Department of Corrections, and one                 
  by the Alaska Court System.                                                  

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