Legislature(1999 - 2000)

04/14/1999 01:20 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 75 - CAPITAL PUNISHMENT FOR CHILD MURDER                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the next order of business is HB 75, "An                                                                
Act relating to murder; authorizing capital punishment, classifying                                                             
murder in the first degree as a capital felony, and allowing the                                                                
imposition of the death penalty when certain of those murders are                                                               
committed against children; establishing sentencing procedures for                                                              
capital felonies; and amending Rules 32, 32.1, and 32.3, Alaska                                                                 
Rules of Criminal Procedure, and Rules 204, 209, 210, and 212,                                                                  
Alaska Rules of Appellate Procedure."                                                                                           
CHAIRMAN KOTT declared it is not the intent to pass the bill out of                                                             
the committee today or whenever.  There is no immediate intent to                                                               
move this bill.                                                                                                                 
Number 0804                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK, sponsor of HB 75, Alaska State Legislature,                                                               
informed the committee that she introduced HB 75 due to her                                                                     
personal belief that capital crimes committed against children                                                                  
should be treated with the most serious consequences society can                                                                
deliver.  She noted that she introduced similar legislation a few                                                               
years ago.  Representative Masek explained that HB 75 allows for                                                                
the use of the death penalty only in situations where children are                                                              
kidnaped, assaulted, sexually assaulted, or a combination thereof.                                                              
She recognized that HB 75 concerns some who oppose the death                                                                    
penalty and in most instances, she said she may agree with those                                                                
individuals.  However, she did not have any sympathy for those who                                                              
prey upon children.  Children need and deserve protection.  Even if                                                             
the death penalty for crimes against children deters only one felon                                                             
from killing a child, she believed the efforts would be worthwhile.                                                             
Representative Masek requested the committee's support of HB 75 and                                                             
Alaska's children.  She offered to answer any questions.                                                                        
CHAIRMAN KOTT requested that committee members hold questions in                                                                
order to take the testimony of those on teleconference.  He                                                                     
announced that there is only a 30-minute window for those on                                                                    
teleconference.  Therefore, he requested that those on the                                                                      
teleconference who wished to testify today limit their testimony to                                                             
three minutes or less.  Those who can return tomorrow to testify                                                                
will receive additional time.                                                                                                   
REVEREND JAY OLSON KETCHUM, testifying via teleconference from                                                                  
Anchorage, stated that she was opposed to HB 75 and capital                                                                     
punishment.  She informed the committee that she is a minister of                                                               
a Presbyterian church and this summer she will be moving to Juneau                                                              
to serve as the Executive (indisc.) for the churches in Southeast                                                               
Alaska.  Nationally, the Presbyterian Church has opposed capital                                                                
punishment.  Reverend Ketchum believed it was not in society's best                                                             
interest to use killing as a means to deter killing.  Capital                                                                   
punishment will not serve a useful purpose and is uncivilized.                                                                  
Reverend Ketchum did agree that more should be done to protect and                                                              
care for children.  Therefore, she asked the committee to consider                                                              
the many uses of the resources that would otherwise be used for                                                                 
capital punishment.  She understood that implementing the death                                                                 
penalty would have considerable costs.  Perhaps, that money could                                                               
be utilized for better accessibility to health care and higher                                                                  
quality mental health services for more children.  Reverend Ketchum                                                             
emphasized that she has had far too many children in her Anchorage                                                              
office that cannot get adequate resources and help for mental                                                                   
health and medical services.  The money could be used to provide                                                                
higher quality and affordable day care.  She also suggested that                                                                
the resources being used to consider the death penalty could be                                                                 
utilized to implement prison reform in order to have a                                                                          
rehabilitative system.  Capital punishment is not good for Alaskans                                                             
and she did not believe it would make Alaskans any safer.  Reverend                                                             
Ketchum urged the committee to put the death penalty issue away.                                                                
Number 1099                                                                                                                     
DALE KELLEY, Executive Director, Alaskans Against the Death                                                                     
Penalty; Council Director, United Methodist Church throughout                                                                   
Alaska, testified via teleconference from Anchorage in opposition                                                               
to HB 75.  Ms. Kelley stated that she was aware that all major                                                                  
denominations in the United States and elsewhere are opposed to                                                                 
capital punishment.  She urged the committee to say "No" to HB 75.                                                              
The bill has a variety of flaws, one of which would conceivable                                                                 
allow children of any age to be given the death penalty which she                                                               
felt was morally wrong.  "Killing one who killed another does not                                                               
teach that killing is wrong and that has been reported nationally."                                                             
She explained that the death penalty illustrates to children that                                                               
if the reason is good enough, killing is alright.  Surely, society                                                              
can develop a better way to deter violence at all levels.  With                                                                 
regard to the argument that the victims of murder demand justice                                                                
and retribution, Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation, a                                                                 
national organization, is opposed to capital punishment.                                                                        
MS. KELLEY noted the "factor of innocence" as experienced in                                                                    
Illinois.  Recently, Illinois has released 11 people since                                                                      
reinstatement of the death penalty in that state.  Those people                                                                 
were proven to be innocent.  The "factor of innocence" is moral and                                                             
ethical, although capital punishment on any level is wrong.                                                                     
CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if all major denominations are opposed to the                                                               
death penalty, how can the polls which overwhelming indicate that                                                               
Alaskans support the death penalty, 70 percent to 80 percent, be                                                                
Number 1326                                                                                                                     
WILLIAM DEWEY, Attorney, testified via teleconference from                                                                      
Anchorage.  He noted that he has been an attorney in Alaska for                                                                 
about 17 years.  He informed the committee that he had a written                                                                
statement that he would forward to the committee.  Mr. Dewey                                                                    
opposed HB 75 and the death penalty, in general.  With regard to                                                                
the polls being discussed, Mr. Dewey indicated that the results are                                                             
different when people have more information.  Furthermore, poll                                                                 
results are different when asking if the death penalty should                                                                   
replace life without parole.  With regard to serious crimes against                                                             
children, Mr. Dewey could only remember about three very serious                                                                
murders and all of those resulted in life without parole.  The                                                                  
problem is one of retribution.                                                                                                  
MR. DEWEY discussed the diary of a Holocaust survivor who was 15                                                                
during the Holocaust.  The diary entries during the two years after                                                             
his release from the camps illustrated his strong feelings of                                                                   
revenge, retribution, and the desire to kill those who had                                                                      
perpetrated this crime against he and his family members.  After                                                                
years of reflection, this man became surprised at his incivility at                                                             
that time and decided that would not be a civilized response to a                                                               
problem.  Mr. Dewey felt the same in this case.  Why should courts                                                              
be given the power of the death penalty, when there are many                                                                    
concerns and criticism with regard to the court's decisions.  In                                                                
conclusion, Mr. Dewey asked the committee not to pass HB 75.                                                                    
CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that witnesses were welcome to fax their                                                                
written testimony to the committee to be placed in the record.                                                                  
Number 1524                                                                                                                     
FATHER LEO WALSH, Associate Pastor, St. Anthony's Catholic Church;                                                              
President, Innerfaith Council of Anchorage, testified via                                                                       
teleconference from Anchorage in opposition to HB 75.  He informed                                                              
the committee that his parish encompasses Mountain View.  Father                                                                
Walsh said that he has had to preside at more than one murdered                                                                 
child's funeral.  When there is the proposition to execute/kill the                                                             
murderer, the victim's family is deprived of the chance to bring                                                                
their grief to closure.  In effect, the victim's family is given a                                                              
lifetime penance of grief.  The death penalty, especially in the                                                                
murder of a child, achieves the opposite of its intent.  Father                                                                 
Walsh explained that with any punishment, there are three factors                                                               
to consider which are the following: the protection of the                                                                      
community or society at large; the rehabilitation or change of the                                                              
offender's behavior; and the restoration of moral order.  The death                                                             
penalty does protect society from a similar offense, but removes                                                                
any chance of rehabilitation of the offender.  Father Walsh                                                                     
suggested that the death penalty does not restore moral order, but                                                              
rather injures it further.  For example, two years ago in Mountain                                                              
View there was a rash of youth violence and the Anchorage Youth                                                                 
Witness for Peace was held.  During that meeting, a powerful letter                                                             
was read from a youth offender who killed another youth.  The                                                                   
letter urged youth not to do what he had done.  Had that youth been                                                             
killed that opportunity would have been lost.  Father Walsh                                                                     
reiterated his opposition to HB 75.                                                                                             
Number 1727                                                                                                                     
RICH CURTNERS, Attorney, testified via teleconference from                                                                      
Anchorage.  He informed the committee that before coming to Alaska                                                              
he was an attorney in Ohio where he did quite a bit of death                                                                    
penalty litigation.  He stressed that the death penalty is an                                                                   
expensive proposition.  Ohio has had the death penalty for 20 years                                                             
and there are 150 people on death row there.  Ohio has not yet had                                                              
an execution.  The first death penalty legislation in Ohio was                                                                  
found to be unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Ohio's                                                                  
second death penalty legislation has been going through the courts                                                              
for 15 years.  Upon a quick review of HB 75, Mr. Curtners                                                                       
guaranteed the committee that there are many constitutional                                                                     
problems with HB 75 which invite expensive litigation.  He                                                                      
commented that any death penalty legislation would be expensive at                                                              
the trial court level through the appeals and the appellate process                                                             
through the federal courts.  Mr. Curtners stated that HB 75 will                                                                
much more expensive.  He noted that he had the opportunity to                                                                   
review the fiscal note for HB 75 which he felt was a conservative                                                               
estimate of the expense.  In Ohio, after 20 years of death penalty                                                              
litigation, the Ohio public offender's office has a large death                                                                 
penalty litigation staff strictly for the later appellate stages of                                                             
habeas work which does not account for each counties local                                                                      
appellate court expenses.  Mr. Curtners believed HB 75 will cost                                                                
Alaska a lot of money which could be better spent to protect                                                                    
CHAIRMAN KOTT said that the committee would appreciate any                                                                      
information from Mr. Curtners regarding the portions of the bill                                                                
that may be unconstitutional.                                                                                                   
Number 1921                                                                                                                     
AMY MENARD, Attorney, testified via teleconference from Anchorage.                                                              
She noted that she had been waiting in a room with other Alaskans                                                               
for almost two hours to speak on this topic.  She wanted the                                                                    
committee to be aware of the concern and dedication among those                                                                 
Alaskans who oppose and regret the consideration of HB 75.  Ms.                                                                 
Menard opposed HB 75, but noted that she would not discuss her                                                                  
moral and ethical objections to the legislation.  However, she                                                                  
wanted to dovetail into Mr. Curtners comments.  Ms. Menard                                                                      
emphasized her frustration that the legislature perennially                                                                     
revisits this issue and in particular now during Alaska's financial                                                             
difficulties.  The death penalty will add significant cost as well                                                              
as an additional layer of litigation to a court system which is                                                                 
already overburdened and slow.  Ms. Menard said that frustration                                                                
was from her position as an attorney as well as an Alaskan.  She                                                                
agreed that there are many constitutional and legal challenges that                                                             
would arise from HB 75.  The legislation encumbers the supreme                                                                  
court further with jurisdiction for seeing these cases and time                                                                 
lines for hearing appeals.  From her personal experience, Ms.                                                                   
Menard informed the committee that appeals before the Alaska                                                                    
Supreme Court routinely run 18 and 24 months at a time.  Therefore,                                                             
she had difficulty understanding how the practical parameters of                                                                
this legislation would work.  In conclusion, Ms. Menard opposed HB
75 and clarified that she and many others oppose this legislation                                                               
for moral as well as financial reasons.  This legislation is a poor                                                             
use of resources and a poor use of the committee's time.                                                                        
TAPE 99-31, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0035                                                                                                                     
MARY GEDDES testified via teleconference from Anchorage in                                                                      
opposition to HB 75.  She informed the committee of the following                                                               
information which she felt pertinent to her opinion on HB 75.                                                                   
First, Ms. Geddes noted that she was expecting a child in the next                                                              
two months.  Second, she said that when she was 15 years of age her                                                             
best friend was kidnaped, sexually assaulted and strangled to                                                                   
death.  Although the images of her best friend's death will always                                                              
haunt her, she realizes that the death penalty will not bring her                                                               
best friend back.                                                                                                               
MS. GEDDES read Lisa Rieger's statement into the record as follows:                                                             
     As one of the few lawyers in the state who has actually                                                                    
     tried a death penalty case, I am speaking in opposition                                                                    
     to HB 75.  Often there is an impression that the costs of                                                                  
     the death penalty arrive after trial and conviction                                                                        
     during the appeals process.  In fact, much of the                                                                          
     increased cost occurs during investigation and trial.                                                                      
     For example, the trial on which I was involved took seven                                                                  
     months of court time.  Thus, it is extremely taxing to                                                                     
     the court, the jurors, and the attornates.  Two                                                                            
     prosecutors and two defense attorneys were committed for                                                                   
     the entire pre-trial and trial period, exclusively to                                                                      
     this case.  There is always a danger when yesterday's                                                                      
     headlines become tomorrow's laws.  This state has had bad                                                                  
     experience with that in the past.  I strongly urge you to                                                                  
     reject this bill.  On behalf of both of our families I                                                                     
     ask you to vote down HB 75.                                                                                                
Number 0267                                                                                                                     
ARTHUR CURTIS, Minister, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship,                                                                     
testified via teleconference from Anchorage in opposition to HB 75.                                                             
He found no evidence to illustrate that the death penalty will                                                                  
accomplish any good in the prevention of crime.  He commented on                                                                
the expense of the death penalty and pointed out that the death                                                                 
penalty has not worked in other states.  Therefore, he was not                                                                  
certain as to why Alaska would want to join the "brutality                                                                      
sweepstakes."  He said that HB 75 is a step backwards and he urged                                                              
the committee to vote against HB 75.                                                                                            
DENNIS HOLWAY, Pastor, Turnagain United Methodist Church, testified                                                             
via teleconference from Anchorage in opposition to HB 75.  He                                                                   
informed the committee that he has served as a United Methodist                                                                 
Minister in Alaska since 1977 and he is currently in his ninth year                                                             
as pastor at the Turnagain United Methodist Church.  Capital                                                                    
punishment does not necessarily rally the clergy around a common                                                                
voice.  However, within the general conference of the United                                                                    
Methodist denomination which represents approximately 8 million                                                                 
members, it is clear that capital punishment is opposed and urged                                                               
to be eliminated from all capital codes.  Pastor Holway noted that                                                              
his conference does not speak for all United Methodists, but it                                                                 
does speak to all United Methodists.  He informed the committee                                                                 
that his opposition was based upon moral and biblical traditions                                                                
which place value on the life of every human being.  Pastor Holway                                                              
discussed a 17-year-old congregation member who killed his best                                                                 
friend at age 15 when the two were playing with guns.  This youth                                                               
went to McClaughlin which did an excellent job in this case and the                                                             
youth has been released and is doing well.  Pastor Holway hoped                                                                 
that this example illustrates the implications of legislation when                                                              
a human being is caught in a web of violence even when it is an                                                                 
Number 0618                                                                                                                     
CHARLES CAMPBELL informed the committee that he was a past director                                                             
of the Division of Corrections in Alaska.  He noted that he has                                                                 
been involved in various aspects of the corrections field for more                                                              
than 45 years, including service at seven different federal                                                                     
prisons.  Among those seven federal prisons, Mr. Campbell served at                                                             
the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri,                                                              
which housed and studied some of the most vicious criminals in the                                                              
federal system.  Mr. Campbell opposed HB 75 and restoration of the                                                              
death penalty in Alaska under any circumstances.  He said that he                                                               
could understand the sentiment underlying this legislation, but HB
75 is troubling.  "Nothing could be more inappropriate, in my                                                                   
opinion, than memorializing the death of a child by killing another                                                             
human being."  Mr. Campbell pointed out that an individual that is                                                              
so disturbed as to be capable of murdering a child is the type of                                                               
person who would not be deterred by the prospect of being executed;                                                             
the opposite effect would be more likely.  There is solid research                                                              
that supports this thinking and he offered to detail such research                                                              
to the committee.                                                                                                               
MR. CAMPBELL said that he did not understand why state                                                                          
legislatures, this body included, gives any consideration to such                                                               
a terrible practice.  The death penalty is obscenely expensive and                                                              
is not useful as a deterrent.  Furthermore, the death penalty                                                                   
hampers the cause of good law enforcement and protection of the                                                                 
public.  The death penalty is blatantly unfair to racial minorities                                                             
and defendants unable to afford adequate representation.  These                                                                 
facts are not disputed by any reliable or reputable source.  With                                                               
regard to the polls, Mr. Campbell recognized that the polls                                                                     
illustrate that most Americans as well as Alaskans approve of the                                                               
death penalty, but these same polls show that most Americans do not                                                             
believe that vengeance is a legitimate reason for the death                                                                     
penalty.  Vengeance is the only rational reason for the use of the                                                              
death penalty.  This ultimate, irreversible penalty, is one that                                                                
falls disproportionately on the poor and the poorly represented.                                                                
Russia and the Ukraine are the most recent countries to abandon the                                                             
death penalty.  Mr. Campbell commented that Americans are known to                                                              
be the most compassionate and charitable people on earth, yet                                                                   
Americans are willing to be so isolated on this issue in the world.                                                             
Continuing the death penalty in America places America in the                                                                   
company of countries such as Iraq, Iran, Lybia, and China.  Mr.                                                                 
Campbell expressed the need for the legislators to utilize this                                                                 
opportunity to inform their constituents of the reality of the                                                                  
death penalty and help their constituents understand why they                                                                   
should oppose the restoration of the death penalty.                                                                             
MR. CAMPBELL informed the committee that in 1980 when he served as                                                              
the Director of the Division of Corrections he was posed with the                                                               
task of developing a position paper for death penalty legislation.                                                              
He recalled that he neglected his position as director for two                                                                  
weeks in order to make phone calls, write letters, and read law                                                                 
review journals.  As a result, Mr. Campbell became adamantly                                                                    
opposed to the death penalty on all grounds, although his moral and                                                             
ethical opposition to the death penalty existed prior to this task.                                                             
Among the studies he reviewed, the 1967 Pearce (ph) and Bauers (ph)                                                             
study of Northeastern University reviewed the possibility of                                                                    
Christian terrorists.  The study reviewed New York State from the                                                               
time of the establishment of the Borough of Vital Statistics, 60                                                                
years.  A pattern was found of two additional murders, on average,                                                              
per month following the month of one or more executions.  Mr.                                                                   
Campbell said that about 10 years ago he discussed this with                                                                    
Professor Bauers (ph) who noted that other studies have suggested                                                               
the same.  About two years ago, Mr. Campbell talked with Professor                                                              
Bauers (ph) who was more convinced that the prospect of execution                                                               
is more likely to incite a particularly twisted, pre-disposed type                                                              
of person to commit a violent act than to deter that person.                                                                    
MR. CAMPBELL noted that for many of his years in the federal prison                                                             
system he was a case worker who compiled social histories.  He sat                                                              
across the table from some of the most depraved, pathological                                                                   
murderers one could imagine.  Mr. Campbell emphasized that it would                                                             
be preposterous to think that such a person would be deterred by                                                                
the threat of execution; quite the opposite is likely to occur.                                                                 
Therefore, to feel that HB 75 would save one child's life is a poor                                                             
prospect to count on.  When violence is relied upon, which is                                                                   
essentially what the death penalty is, there will be a continuation                                                             
of more not less violence.  In response to Representative Green,                                                                
Mr. Campbell agreed to provide the committee with a copy of the                                                                 
aforementioned study.                                                                                                           
Number 1280                                                                                                                     
PHILLIP PALLENBERG informed the committee that he was the                                                                       
Supervising Attorney for the Public Defender Agency in Juneau,                                                                  
although he indicated that he was not testifying in that capacity.                                                              
Mr. Pallenberg said that he was present to provide his personal                                                                 
opinions to HB 75.  Mr. Pallenberg opposed HB 75 as well as capital                                                             
punishment.  He pointed out that HB 75 is structured such that in                                                               
all first degree murder cases a separate hearing with the jury in                                                               
which the jury makes recommendations regarding sentencing would be                                                              
required.  The legislation does not limit the sentencing phase of                                                               
the trial, which is not currently done, to child murder cases.                                                                  
That seemed to be a Trojan Horse as does the entire bill.  If HB 75                                                             
passes, he felt that each year another depraved category of                                                                     
murderers would be added.                                                                                                       
MR. PALLENBERG suggested the committee should focus on the issue of                                                             
capital punishment in a broader sense, not on child murderers.                                                                  
There seems to be two broad rationales supporting the death penalty                                                             
which are retribution and deterrence.  Those have to be balanced                                                                
against the monetary costs and, even more importantly, against the                                                              
potential for innocent people to be executed by the state.  As                                                                  
someone working in the legal system for a long time, Mr. Pallenberg                                                             
was concerned with the latter; jurors are human beings and human                                                                
beings make mistakes.  There is a high potential for innocent                                                                   
people to be executed under such a system.  Mr. Pallenberg believed                                                             
that the only way a bill such as HB 75 made sense morally is if the                                                             
public can be convinced that the bill will save more lives than it                                                              
will cost the innocent.  He agreed with Mr. Campbell's comments.                                                                
The more depraved the act the more difficult it is to deter.  He                                                                
said, "Really, the question isn't will capital punishment deter                                                                 
anybody.  The question is will capital punishment deter anybody who                                                             
wouldn't have been deterred by a life sentence without possibility                                                              
of parole."                                                                                                                     
Number 1550                                                                                                                     
HUGH FLEISCHER, Executive Board, Alaska Christian Conference;                                                                   
Interfaith Council of Anchorage; Alaskans Against the Death                                                                     
Penalty; testified in opposition to the death penalty in Alaska.                                                                
He noted that Ms. Lerman is a historian who will provide the                                                                    
committee with information regarding what it was like in Alaska                                                                 
when the death penalty was in place.  During that time, 75 percent                                                              
of those persons executed were Natives and African Americans, even                                                              
though those people comprised a very small portion of the                                                                       
population.  Mr. Fleischer suggested the committee review Alaska's                                                              
actual experience with the death penalty.  Mr. Fleischer concurred                                                              
with all the previous testimony, specifically that of Mr. Campbell.                                                             
He emphasized that the state should not emulate murderers because                                                               
it is against our interest.  He echoed the comments regarding the                                                               
mistakes that are made due to the human judicial system.  Mr.                                                                   
Fleischer informed the committee that in the U.S. over 70 people on                                                             
death row have been cleared of guilt.  In Florida, there were 18                                                                
such persons who were found to have been erroneously convicted.  He                                                             
noted that every member of the legislature would receive the                                                                    
document entitled, "'Innocent' Why the Death Penalty is Losing its                                                              
Supporters" which he asked the members to review.                                                                               
MR. FLEISCHER informed the committee that the Criminal Justice                                                                  
Working Group puts out a time line illustrating what happens                                                                    
between the time of arrest and the time of conviction.  The                                                                     
Criminal Justice Working Group includes police organizations,                                                                   
prosecutors, the Department of Law, and various persons involved in                                                             
the criminal justice system.  The time line graph is longer than                                                                
Mr. Fleischer's out-stretched arm.  There are innumerable areas                                                                 
where mistakes can be made.  He requested that time line be entered                                                             
as part of the record as with the aforementioned document.                                                                      
Number 1860                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN KOTT expressed concern with the prosecution of an innocent                                                             
person.  With regard to those who have been released in recent                                                                  
years, Chairman Kott suspected that was due to advances in the                                                                  
medical field.  Since Alaska has outlawed the death penalty, has                                                                
Alaska ever released a person and declared the person innocent.                                                                 
MR. FLEISCHER pointed out that virtually all criminal prosecutions                                                              
resulting in a conviction are appealed.  There have been a number                                                               
of convictions that were overturned by the Alaska Court of Appeals                                                              
and the Alaska Supreme Court.  He noted that the Alaska Court of                                                                
Appeals which deals exclusively with criminal convictions is                                                                    
excluded from the loop in HB 75, although the Alaska Court of                                                                   
Appeals has the most expertise and experience with criminal law.                                                                
Mr. Fleischer said that Alaska has not had a capital case in modern                                                             
history, but it has happened in other comparable states.                                                                        
CHAIRMAN KOTT posed a situation in which a person is sentenced 99                                                               
years to life for murder.  The person serves 10 years and it is                                                                 
discovered that he/she did not commit the murder and he/she is                                                                  
released.  Has such a situation occurred in Alaska?                                                                             
MR. FLEISCHER did not know of a such a case.  He offered to                                                                     
research that for the committee.                                                                                                
Number 2056                                                                                                                     
IAN OLSON next came forward to testify.  Mr. Olson said that he                                                                 
wanted to direct his comments toward finding a better solution.                                                                 
Thus far, 14 people have testified in opposition to HB 75; not one                                                              
person has testified in support of HB 75 which he believed to be                                                                
significant.  Mr. Olson directed the committee's attention to the                                                               
fiscal note which he understood to mean that in the fiscal year                                                                 
2005, the state would face about $1 million per year to merely run                                                              
the system of the death penalty.  He emphasized that is just to run                                                             
the system, but does not include the cost to kill someone.                                                                      
Furthermore, it seems that only one or two cases are expected per                                                               
year.  That is a lot of money and the cost increases each year.                                                                 
Mr. Olson commented that the death penalty is a reactive system.                                                                
MR. OLSON suggested that the solution is a proactive system which                                                               
funds child programs.  Programs promoting alcohol awareness and gun                                                             
safety should be funded.  If the reactive system is chosen, Mr.                                                                 
Olson believed Alaska would enter into a slippery slope with which                                                              
there seems to be a prioritizing of whose life is more valuable                                                                 
than another.  He stressed that a child's life is the most                                                                      
valuable, but the slippery slope will open it up to others.  Mr.                                                                
Olson emphasized the need to be proactive.  With regard to                                                                      
Representative Masek's comment that HB 75 is a success even if it                                                               
only kills one person who has killed a child, Mr. Olson questioned,                                                             
"What if we were to install a proactive system that saved one                                                                   
child, would she still wonder if this is a success?  Would she                                                                  
still wonder if a proactive system is a success if we have it save                                                              
just one child?"  In conclusion, Mr. Olson expressed the need to                                                                
give HB 75 the upmost attention.                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN KOTT pointed out that Mr. Olson's fiscal estimate was                                                                  
conservative because he was looking at only one of the three fiscal                                                             
notes to HB 75.                                                                                                                 
Number 2384                                                                                                                     
CAMI MOLINE was next to testify.  She informed the committee that                                                               
she grew up living on the grounds of federal correctional                                                                       
institutions as her father is Mr. Campbell.  She has listened for                                                               
years to the discussion regarding what does and does not work.  Ms.                                                             
Moline noted that she has worked in corrections in Alaska and                                                                   
elsewhere with juvenile offenders.  Currently, she is a                                                                         
stay-at-home mom who tells who two sons that peace, justice, and                                                                
truth should constantly be sought.  She hoped the committee would                                                               
support that, as legislators have the opportunity to exemplify                                                                  
these pursuits in leadership.  This is a deeply emotional issue; so                                                             
much so that peace, justice, truth, and facts can become elusive.                                                               
She discussed the unimaginable feelings of the families' of                                                                     
victims, but noted that taking the life of another in revenge never                                                             
resurrects the lost loved one.  Peace does not come by these means.                                                             
She echoed the comments regarding the disproportionate numbers of                                                               
poor, males of minorities who have been chosen to be deserving of                                                               
execution.  People of resources can avoid conviction.                                                                           
TAPE 99-31, SIDE B                                                                                                              
MS. MOLINE indicated that life imprisonment is an option at a far                                                               
less cost.  She reiterated the fiscal concerns surrounding                                                                      
instating the death penalty.  Ms. Moline requested that the                                                                     
committee put aside HB 75.                                                                                                      
Number 0038                                                                                                                     
ELLEN CAMPBELL next came before the committee.  She noted a                                                                     
conversation with one of her friends who found it difficult to                                                                  
believe that life imprisonment was cheaper than capital punishment.                                                             
This lead Ms. Campbell to think of all the reasons why one cannot                                                               
say that one life is not worthy of further existence.  Life is                                                                  
God's gift.  She informed the committee that she has known persons                                                              
with serious crimes in their past and others who, had the death                                                                 
penalty existed, would have lost their redemptive years and the                                                                 
world would have been poorer.  Ms. Campbell said that the public                                                                
wants the legislature to vote to express its wishes.  The public                                                                
wants crime, hideous crimes to be stopped.  She commented that                                                                  
those who are most seriously deranged are not responsible as we are                                                             
sitting here.  Ms. Campbell said, "You have been elected for where                                                              
the truth is.  You are informed.  You can bring enlightenment to                                                                
people who, in their fear and in their frustration, say we have to                                                              
end it so let's kill them, not knowing that forces and energy and                                                               
money go to wiping out some pitiful, unrepresented, poorly                                                                      
represented minority."  In conclusion, Ms. Campbell quoted a verse                                                              
in the Bible saying, "'Who knows, but for such a time as this you                                                               
can into the kingdom.'  Who knows, but for such a time as this you                                                              
were elected to the legislature to represent what is right and good                                                             
for people and I pray that you will exercise your responsibility                                                                
intelligently and with commitment and courage."                                                                                 
CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that HB 75 would be put aside until                                                                     
tomorrow for those to testify who were not able to today.                                                                       

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