Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/16/1993 03:00 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  HB 189 - SERIOUS CRIMES BY MINORS                                            
  CHARLES COLE, ALASKA ATTORNEY GENERAL, testified in Juneau                   
  in support of HB 189.                                                        
  Number 062                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE noted that the committee had heard HB 100 and                    
  passed it, but it had been replaced by SB 54.                                
  Number 070                                                                   
  ATTORNEY GENERAL COLE said the administration supports                       
  HB 189 because it was simpler and more straightforward than                  
  other bills.  He referred to a chart showing the many                        
  unclassified and class A felonies to which SB 54 applied.                    
  He said that while in some senses SB 54 was acceptable, he                   
  said it was harder to administer and was beyond what the                     
  Department of Law wanted to see at that time.  He said it                    
  might be better to limit the automatic waiver of minors to                   
  charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and                    
  attempted first-degree murder.  He said it would be a good                   
  idea to keep the current law in effect for some offenses,                    
  which was well suited for offenses other than murder, to                     
  allow time to see how the new waiver requirements worked in                  
  (Rep. B. Davis arrived at 3:40 p.m.)                                         
  Number 123                                                                   
  OF LAW'S CRIMINAL DIVISION, testified in Juneau in support                   
  of HB 189.  She said that juvenile waivers create problems                   
  in where to place waived juveniles before trial, where to                    
  place them after trial if convicted of only minor offenses,                  
  and what to do if the juvenile wants to try to demonstrate                   
  amenability to rehabilitation before age 20.  These problems                 
  prompted the Department of Law to support automatic waiver                   
  for murder charges, as the fact that such charges have even                  
  been made is an indication that the juvenile's chances of                    
  rehabilitation before age 20 are minimum.  Lesser charges                    
  carry no assurance that the juvenile involved was not                        
  amenable to rehabilitation.  The current system requires                     
  prosecutors to prove a juvenile is not amenable to                           
  rehabilitation, a problem that will need to be addressed                     
  later, she said.  Until then, the automatic waivers for some                 
  charges are a good start in the right direction.                             
  Number 170                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY asked if Ms. Knuth recalled whether the state had                 
  ever shown a person was not amenable to rehabilitation.                      
  Number 175                                                                   
  MS. KNUTH answered that the state prevails in more than half                 
  of the cases in which it seeks to waive juveniles into adult                 
  court, though it is careful of the cases for which it                        
  requests waivers.  The state ultimately wins most waiver                     
  hearings for murder cases, she said.  A juvenile's earlier                   
  involvement in court proceedings was a good indication that                  
  he was not amenable to rehabilitation.                                       
  Number 200                                                                   
  SHERRIE GOLL, LOBBYIST for the ALASKA WOMEN'S LOBBY and                      
  KIDPAC, testified in Juneau in support of HB 189.  She said                  
  that while the Women's Lobby generally opposed automatic                     
  waivers, she acknowledged that both the governor and                         
  administration supported the bill, which she said was a more                 
  reasonable approach to the issue than SB 54.  She expressed                  
  support for the current system, but said HB 189 was a                        
  reasonable approach.                                                         
  (Rep. Brice arrived at 3:48 p.m.)                                            
  Number 220                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked for more public testimony, and hearing                     
  none, closed public testimony on HB 189.  He asked whether                   
  the committee wanted to discuss the bill further.                            
  Number 231                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY asked the status of HB 100, which the committee                   
  had passed earlier in the session.                                           
  CHAIR BUNDE said the bill had been passed to the House                       
  Judiciary Committee, where it was replaced by SB 54.                         
  REP. VEZEY asked if there was a committee substitute for                     
  SB 54.                                                                       
  CHAIR BUNDE said there was a CSSB 54, and HB 100 had not                     
  been passed out of the House Finance Committee.                              
  REP. VEZEY asked the source of the document on juvenile                      
  waivers which had earlier been handed out to the committee                   
  CHAIR BUNDE answered that it had come from the attorney                      
  general's office.                                                            
  Number 250                                                                   
  ATTORNEY GENERAL COLE said he was concerned with other bills                 
  dealing with waivers for youths aged 15 or under.  He                        
  expressed reluctance to involve offenders that young into                    
  the criminal system too far and too fast, when there might                   
  be some hope of rehabilitation.  He said the system works                    
  well for offenders that young.  He said HB 189 allows the                    
  system to offer some help to juveniles who commit lesser                     
  crimes and who might benefit from rehabilitation.                            
  CHAIR BUNDE expressed a desire to see HB 189 pass to the                     
  House Judiciary Committee, which could then consider both                    
  HB 189 and SB 54.                                                            
  Number 285                                                                   
  REP. TOOHEY moved passage of HB 189 from the committee with                  
  individual recommendations.                                                  
  Number 290                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked for objections, and hearing none, declared                 
  HB 189 passed with individual recommendations.  He noted                     
  that he believed the fiscal notes for HB 189 would be large,                 
  while the committee had been provided zero fiscal notes.  He                 
  then brought HB 82 and HB 83 to the table.                                   

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