Legislature(1993 - 1994)
02/28/1994 01:15 PM JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 162 - CAPITAL PUNISHMENT FOR MURDER Number 291 REP. PHILLIPS moved to rescind the committee's action in failing to move HB 162 from committee at this time. Number 295 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked for discussion on the motion. Number 298 REP. PHILLIPS, in speaking to the motion, indicated that when she cast her vote on not moving HB 162 from committee, she did so with the concern that the committee did not have testimony that concurred with the feelings of the public on this issue, particularly from the Kenai Peninsula. She further indicated, for the record, that she had a file with 132 direct communications in support of HB 162 and 39 communications against HB 162 and asked that this material be considered a part of the record. Number 306 CHAIRMAN PORTER restated the motion before the committee and asked for further discussion or objection to the motion. Hearing none, HB 162 was brought before the committee. Number 345 REP. JAMES moved Sponsor Substitute for HB 162 from committee with individual recommendations. Number 349 REP. GREEN objected to the motion. REP. KOTT testified that he supported HB 162 and that he firmly believed that there were individuals who committed such heinous crimes that there was no hope for them and that there was then a need for the death penalty. REP. GREEN testified that he felt there were reasonable alternatives to keeping violent offenders away from society without instituting a death penalty and that the fiscal notes indicated that it was less costly to keep them incarcerated. He further expressed concern that while public opinion may be overwhelming in support of HB 162, he simply could not support such a measure. Number 423 REP. JAMES testified that while she understood the arguments surrounding the cost of implementing a death penalty as well as the moral issues raised surrounding HB 162, she felt there is a kind of crime, such as multiple death or dismemberment, that some people do to another person, and there should be a capital punishment law on the books. She therefore felt obligated to support public opinion on this issue. Number 455 REP. KOTT remarked that if you look at life imprisonment for a person who is twenty years old, if you were to look at the cost, you would come up with about a two million dollar fiscal note. He felt that the potential was there for a wash as far as the fiscal ramifications were concerned. He further testified that he felt government had a responsibility to society that says whether you are behind bars or on the street, government should protect its citizens. He felt HB 162 would show an effective deterrent and should be implemented. Number 494 CHAIRMAN PORTER testified that he would support moving HB 162 from committee, but unless he heard something totally different than the testimony previously before the committee, he felt that the present 99-year sentence, or life without parole, was sufficient. He further felt that having been affected by budgets dealing with this type of activity, he felt we could not, in good conscience, spend money on someone who, in effect, is not going to perpetrate any more crimes in society. He, therefore, would not support HB 162 if it were to come to the House floor for a vote. Number 544 REP. KOTT remarked that the last time this bill was heard they did make an amendment that would take away the advisory vote provision of the bill so the bill would move from committee as a Sponsor Substitute for HB 162. Number 574 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked for a roll call vote which was taken as follows: REP. GREEN Yes REP. KOTT Yes REP. PHILLIPS Yes REP. JAMES Yes REP. PORTER Yes Number 579 CHAIRMAN PORTER declared that Sponsor Substitute for HB 162 amended Judiciary was moved from committee. The House Judiciary Committee was adjourned at 2:42 p.m.