Legislature(2019 - 2020)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/11/2019 09:00 AM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
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Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 4 Out of Committee
SENATE BILL NO. 12                                                                                                            
     "An  Act  relating  to assault  in  the  first  degree;                                                                    
     relating  to  sex  offenses;  and  relating  to  credit                                                                    
     toward a sentence  of imprisonment for time  spent in a                                                                    
    treatment program or under electronic monitoring."                                                                          
9:03:50 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Peter Micciche, Sponsor,  informed that the bill was                                                                    
a  result  of a  specific  heinous  crime that  occurred  on                                                                    
August  8, 2017,  when  the  perpetrator (Justin  Schneider)                                                                    
offered  a  ride  to  a   young  Alaska  Native  woman.  The                                                                    
perpetrator  had given  the  woman a  ride,  after which  he                                                                    
tackled  her,   choked  her  to   unconsciousness,  sexually                                                                    
assaulted  her and  left her.  After  a year  it had  become                                                                    
clear  that   the  state  code   was  missing   several  key                                                                    
considerations on such crime.  The perpetrator was convicted                                                                    
of  assault.  The  perpetrator had  been  sentenced  to  two                                                                    
years; he  then received  one year of  electronic monitoring                                                                    
and suspended  the second  year. He  asked the  committee to                                                                    
consider  the  fact that  the  perpetrator  had assaulted  a                                                                    
young woman and then did not spend any time in prison.                                                                          
Senator Micciche  continued his  discussion of the  bill. He                                                                    
stated  that  SB   12  resolved  the  legal   issue  he  had                                                                    
described.  He  cited Alaska's  ranking  as  number one  for                                                                    
sexual assault.  He reiterated that  there were gaps  in the                                                                    
state's laws  that had not come  to light until the  case in                                                                    
question which had  resulted in a plea deal.  The bill would                                                                    
give prosecutors additional tools.  The bill would: redefine                                                                    
what a sex  crime was, added unwanted contact  with semen to                                                                    
a list of crimes,  expanded offenses required registering as                                                                    
a  sex offender,  increased penalties  for strangulation  in                                                                    
commission of  a sex crime,  and no longer allow  credit for                                                                    
electronic monitoring for crimes  against a person. Finally,                                                                    
the  bill required  formal consultation  with the  victim on                                                                    
the plea  agreement. The sponsor felt  that had consultation                                                                    
been  required by  law, the  Schneider case  would not  have                                                                    
resulted in a plea deal under which there was no jail time.                                                                     
9:08:39 AM                                                                                                                    
EDRA MORLEDGE, STAFF, SENATOR  PETER MICCICHE, addressed the                                                                    
sectional analysis for SB 12 (copy on file):                                                                                    
     Section  1:  Amends  AS 11.41.200(a),  assault  in  the                                                                    
     first degree,  to add  new subsection  5, which  adds a                                                                    
     person "knowingly causes  another to become unconscious                                                                    
     by  means  of  a   dangerous  instrument"  and  defines                                                                    
     "dangerous   instrument"   in   accordance   with   the                                                                    
     definition in AS  11.81.900. (Page 1, line 6    Page 2,                                                                    
     line 5)                                                                                                                    
     Section  2: Adds  "knowingly causing  a victim  to come                                                                    
     into contact  with semen" to the  definition of "sexual                                                                    
     contact"  in AS  11.91.900(b)(60). (Page  2, lines  6                                                                      
     Section  3: Repeals  and  reenacts  AS 12.55.027(d)  to                                                                    
     specify that  a court  may not  grant credit  against a                                                                    
     sentence  for  time  in  a   private  residence  or  on                                                                    
     electronic monitoring. (Page 2, Lines 26  28)                                                                              
     Section   4:   Amends   AS   12.55.027(e)   to   remove                                                                    
     "electronic  monitoring"  as  an  option  for  claiming                                                                    
     credit  toward a  sentence  of  imprisonment. (Page  2,                                                                    
     line 29  Page 3, line 7)                                                                                                   
     Section 5:  Amends AS 12.55.125(c)  to add  an enhanced                                                                    
     sentencing structure  for assault  in the  first degree                                                                    
     when  a dangerous  instrument is  used in  the assault,                                                                    
     which is  a class A felony.  (Page 3, line 8    Page 4,                                                                    
     line 4)                                                                                                                    
     Section 6:  Amends AS 12.55.125(d)  to add  an enhanced                                                                    
     sentencing structure  for assault in the  second degree                                                                    
     when  a dangerous  instrument is  used in  the assault,                                                                    
     which is a class B felony. (Page 4, lines 5  29)                                                                           
     Section 7:  Amends AS 12.55.125(e)  to add  an enhanced                                                                    
     sentencing structure  for assault  in the  third degree                                                                    
     when  a dangerous  instrument is  used in  the assault,                                                                    
     which is a  class C felony. (Page 4, line  30   Page 5,                                                                    
     Section  8: Amends  AS  12.55.125(i)  to add  increased                                                                    
     presumptive ranges  to second- and  third-degree sexual                                                                    
     crimes  when   in  the  commission  of   the  crime,  a                                                                    
     defendant  possessed   a  firearm,  used   a  dangerous                                                                    
     instrument or caused serious  physical injury. (Page 5,                                                                    
     line 24  Page 8, line 22)                                                                                                  
     Section 9: Adds AS  12.61.015(d), a new subsection that                                                                    
     requires the prosecuting attorney  to make a reasonable                                                                    
     effort to  confer with  the victim  of a  sexual felony                                                                    
     (or their  legal guardian) to  ascertain if  they agree                                                                    
     with the proposed  plea agreement. (Page 8,  lines 23                                                                      
     Section 10: Repeals AS  12.55.027(g), which allowed for                                                                    
    sentencing for time spent on electronic monitoring.                                                                         
     (Page 8, line 31)                                                                                                          
     Section 11: Applicability. (Page 9, line 1  10)                                                                            
     Section 15: Effective date clause. (Page 9, line 11)                                                                       
9:12:24 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair von Imhof informed that there were three                                                                               
individuals signed up for invited testimony.                                                                                    
9:13:05 AM                                                                                                                    
CARMEN   LOWRY,  EXECUTIVE   DIRECTOR,  ALASKA   NETWORK  ON                                                                    
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL  ASSAULT, thanked the committee                                                                    
for the  opportunity to  discuss the  bill and  engage about                                                                    
the serious  nature of  sexual crimes.  She stated  that the                                                                    
Alaska  Network  on  Domestic Violence  and  Sexual  Assault                                                                    
(ANDVSA)  was  a  membership organization  comprised  of  24                                                                    
community-based  agencies that  provided direct  life-saving                                                                    
services  to  victims and  survivors.  She  stated that  the                                                                    
network  and  its  members fully  supported  the  bill.  She                                                                    
thanked  the sponsor  for addressing  clear deficiencies  in                                                                    
the  state's laws.  She referenced  Section 1  of the  bill,                                                                    
which expanded  the definition of strangulation.  It allowed                                                                    
for understanding the perpetrators used  many ways to deny a                                                                    
victim oxygen.                                                                                                                  
Ms.  Lowry discussed  Section  9,  which had  to  do with  a                                                                    
reasonable effort  to contact a  victim if there was  a plea                                                                    
deal.   She  reiterated   the   importance  of   prosecuting                                                                    
attorneys working  closely with victim's  services agencies.                                                                    
She relayed  that more often  than not, agencies  or shelter                                                                    
services  had   contact  with   victims.  She   offered  the                                                                    
expertise of the network to  work with the Department of Law                                                                    
(LAW) to  come up  with a checklist  to ensure  a reasonable                                                                    
attempt was made to contact a  victim and give them a voice.                                                                    
She noted that a prosecuting  attorney would not be bound in                                                                    
any way by  the provision, but it was very  important for to                                                                    
fully   understand  why   a  victim   may  have   a  certain                                                                    
9:16:21 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Olson  asked about Section  9 of the bill,  which he                                                                    
thought did not have the  "teeth" he would have expected. He                                                                    
referenced  the phrase  "reasonable effort"  and noted  that                                                                    
nothing in the section  required the prosecuting attorney to                                                                    
be bound by  the victim's response regarding  the plea deal.                                                                    
He thought it seemed like  a soft-handed, feel-good piece of                                                                    
Ms. Lowry  explained that ANDVSA thought  the reasons listed                                                                    
by  Senator Olson  were  the reasons  a  checklist would  be                                                                    
helpful. She  thought there needed  to be  consultation. She                                                                    
explained  that victims  did not  always want  to go  on the                                                                    
record, because  it put  pressure on  her to  determine what                                                                    
happened to someone who likely  was known. She thought there                                                                    
had to  be a process  for the law  to uphold the  intent and                                                                    
make sure people were informed.                                                                                                 
Senator Olson considered the crime  that was the impetus for                                                                    
the  bill.  He  thought  one  problem  was  the  prosecuting                                                                    
attorney that was  trying to go for a  conviction and almost                                                                    
acted  recklessly  and arrogantly,  and  the  judge had  his                                                                    
hands tied.  He thought  the prosecuting attorney  had erred                                                                    
on the side of leniency.                                                                                                        
9:19:34 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Micciche reminded  that the  vast majority  of what                                                                    
occurred  in   the  crime  being  discussed   had  not  been                                                                    
criminal, save  for the second-degree assault.  He stated he                                                                    
was not pushing victims to  participate to a level that they                                                                    
were not  comfortable. He thought  the bill would  result in                                                                    
victim's participation  at a high enough  level to prosecute                                                                    
individuals to the highest extent of the law.                                                                                   
Senator  Wilson wondered  if LAW  would be  participating in                                                                    
invited testimony.                                                                                                              
Co-Chair von Imhof  stated that LAW was not  part of invited                                                                    
testimony, but there was a  representative of the department                                                                    
in the room that could answer questions.                                                                                        
Co-Chair von Imhof asked if  Senator Micciche wanted to make                                                                    
a  brief  statement before  the  third  testifier began  his                                                                    
Senator Micciche  stated that the third  testifier was Judge                                                                    
Michael Corey,  who had presided  over the  Justin Schneider                                                                    
case. He had not supported  the judge's retention. The judge                                                                    
had called  Senator Micciche and  had helped clarify  why he                                                                    
thought the  greater participation  on behalf of  the victim                                                                    
was important.                                                                                                                  
9:23:30 AM                                                                                                                    
JUDGE MICHAEL  COREY (via teleconference), informed  that he                                                                    
had presided  over the Justin  Schneider case. He  wanted to                                                                    
be  clear that  he  was  speaking on  his  own  behalf as  a                                                                    
private citizen,  as he  was no longer  a judge.  He relayed                                                                    
that he  had followed the law  as was required by  his oath,                                                                    
and he had  "been crucified for it." He  supported the bill,                                                                    
and  thought  it fixed  problems  that  existed in  law.  He                                                                    
opined  that if  SB  12 had  been in  effect  that the  time                                                                    
Justin Schneider engaged in his  actions, there would not be                                                                    
the problems that had followed.  He wished to be involved in                                                                    
the bill to help his former  colleagues on the bench so that                                                                    
no one would  have to go through what he  and his family had                                                                    
Mr. Corey continued  his testimony. He thought  it was clear                                                                    
that there  were segments of  the population  that exploited                                                                    
social media without  regard for accuracy or  hurt to others                                                                    
while  seeking political  relevance. He  emphasized that  he                                                                    
had not been  the problem (in the outcome of  the case), but                                                                    
rather the law  had been the problem. He  reiterated that he                                                                    
thought SB 12  fixed the problem with the  law. He supported                                                                    
all  of the  measures included  in the  bill, including  the                                                                    
addition to the definition  of "sexual contact." He asserted                                                                    
that if  the different definition  had been included  in the                                                                    
law prior to Justin Schneider's  actions, there was no way a                                                                    
plea arrangement  would have been sought  by the prosecutor.                                                                    
He mentioned  public outrage  at the  credit given  for time                                                                    
served on electronic monitoring.                                                                                                
Mr.  Corey continued  his remarks.  He did  not dispute  the                                                                    
increase in  sentencing ranges as  proposed in the  bill. He                                                                    
explained that  the expanded  definition of  sexual contact,                                                                    
if applied to  the Schneider case, would have  resulted in a                                                                    
greater  sentence  and  registration  on  the  sex  offender                                                                    
9:27:17 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Corey addressed the concerns  of victims. He thought the                                                                    
Alaska  constitution mentioned  that  victims  needed to  be                                                                    
treated  with respect.  He thought  respect  should also  be                                                                    
shown to  victims that did not  want to be present  in court                                                                    
proceedings. He did not think  that a few individuals should                                                                    
dictate how  victims had to  conduct themselves.  He thought                                                                    
it was  possible that  a victim could  not be  found because                                                                    
they  did  not want  to  come  forward.  He thought  it  was                                                                    
troubling  that if  a defendant  could  know or  act on  the                                                                    
status of a victim's participation.                                                                                             
9:29:22 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Corey addressed  Section 9  of the  bill and  liked the                                                                    
fact  that  a  prosecutor  had  an  affirmative  obligation,                                                                    
without  which  the  obligation   was  on  victims  to  come                                                                    
forward. He  thought discreet sensitive  contact originating                                                                    
with  the prosecuting  attorney's  office  might bring  more                                                                    
involvement.  He   thought  the  court  had   to  perpetuate                                                                    
Mr. Corey  expressed gratitude for Senator  Micciche and his                                                                    
staff taking  his call and discussing  concerns for victims.                                                                    
He thought that there  were unintended consequences when law                                                                    
was  changed.  He thought  one  possibility  was to  give  a                                                                    
victim veto power  over a plea arrangement.  He thought that                                                                    
at a minimum, if the bill  was enacted as-is, it seemed that                                                                    
it would be  helpful if the legislature  would send judicial                                                                    
officers the  freedom to reject  plea agreements  if victims                                                                    
did not agree.                                                                                                                  
Mr.  Corey  anticipated  that   there  would  be  additional                                                                    
discussion  about  a  victim's   displeasure  about  a  plea                                                                    
agreement  and  he  thought judges  would  question  whether                                                                    
there was  authority to reject  the agreement solely  on the                                                                    
grounds of  the victim's disapproval. He  thought there were                                                                    
times  a  plea agreement  should  be  accepted even  over  a                                                                    
victim's disapproval, but he did  not want to see his former                                                                    
colleagues  subjected to  the malicious  attacks  if it  was                                                                    
perceived the courts ignored the wishes of the victims.                                                                         
9:33:24 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stedman noted  that the  charge of  kidnapping had                                                                    
not  been  used  in  the  Schneider  case.  He  wondered  if                                                                    
kidnapping  statutes should  be  updated to  help in  future                                                                    
Mr. Corey  thought it did not  hurt to take another  look at                                                                    
the relevant statutes. He knew  the court could not reject a                                                                    
plea  agreement  predicated  on  the  manner  in  which  the                                                                    
prosecution  chooses to  charge a  defendant. If  the charge                                                                    
was dropped, there was a  separation of powers issue between                                                                    
the  executive and  judiciary branches.  He emphasized  that                                                                    
much  of  the issue  had  to  do  with what  the  prosecutor                                                                    
thought she or  he could prove. He clarified  that the judge                                                                    
was  precluded  from  being   involved  in  the  negotiation                                                                    
process.  Since  the  plea agreement  was  by  definition  a                                                                    
liquidation of  risk on both  sides, the agreement  would be                                                                    
too  lenient  or  too  harsh  as  compared  to  a  different                                                                    
eventuality.  There were  other  parameters  for other  plea                                                                    
bargains. The question of  community condemnation weighed on                                                                    
judges.  He  discussed the  level  of  sanctions imposed  on                                                                    
perpetrators under  plea agreements  and thought  the public                                                                    
would be horrified.                                                                                                             
9:36:16 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator   Wielechowski   considered    the   definition   of                                                                    
kidnapping under  AS 11.41.300.  He cited that  news reports                                                                    
had described  the actions taken  by the perpetrator  in the                                                                    
Schneider case,  and he  thought the  crime clearly  met the                                                                    
definition  of kidnapping  and  attempted  murder. He  asked                                                                    
what the  prosecution was prepared  to go forward on  if the                                                                    
judge had rejected the plea agreement.                                                                                          
Mr. Corey  stated that the  charges had  included kidnapping                                                                    
and assault in the second  degree, but not attempted murder.                                                                    
He informed  that a judge did  not have the power  to direct                                                                    
the prosecution in  terms of what charges  could be brought,                                                                    
nor  could  a  judge  stop  the  prosecution  from  dropping                                                                    
charges. He  explained that judges were  obligated to follow                                                                    
the law  when personal preferences diverged  from the letter                                                                    
of the law.                                                                                                                     
Mr.  Corey  thought  the  case had  a  horrible  result.  He                                                                    
discussed the role of the  judge in presiding over cases. He                                                                    
thought reexamination  of the particulars of  the case would                                                                    
require  a sit-down  with  the  district attorney's  office,                                                                    
which could answer the question of the charges more fully.                                                                      
9:40:48 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair von Imhof  reminded that there were  others to give                                                                    
invited testimony.  She asked for  speakers to  stay focused                                                                    
on  the  questions and  stay  concise.  She appreciated  Mr.                                                                    
Corey's testimony.                                                                                                              
Senator  Wielechowski asked  if a  kidnapping charge  was an                                                                    
unclassified felony.                                                                                                            
Mr. Corey answered in the affirmative.                                                                                          
Senator  Wielechowski   asked  if   the  charge   meant  the                                                                    
potential for life in prison.                                                                                                   
Mr. Corey stated that the sentence  could be up to 99 years.                                                                    
He  thought  there  might  be  common-law  restrictions  and                                                                    
Senator Wielechowski asked  if there was case  law that said                                                                    
the  definition  of  kidnapping   could  include  moving  to                                                                    
another location by deception.                                                                                                  
Mr.  Corey believed  Senator Wielechowski's  description was                                                                    
Senator  Wielechowski asked  if the  judge had  rejected the                                                                    
plea,  the case  would have  gone to  trial on  a kidnapping                                                                    
Mr. Corey stated  that judges were not  authorized to reject                                                                    
pleas because the state dropped  a charge. He stated that if                                                                    
there had  been a  legitimate reason for  him to  reject the                                                                    
plea (which there had not been)  it would have gone to trial                                                                    
and the  state may  or may  not have  pursued the  charge of                                                                    
kidnapping depending on the evidence.                                                                                           
Senator Micciche wanted  to ensure that he had  looked in to                                                                    
the case  and found  a conviction  of kidnapping  would have                                                                    
been very challenging. The bill  tried to put tools in place                                                                    
that  would have  resulted  in a  conviction.  He wanted  to                                                                    
clarify  that  it  seemed   that  a  kidnapping  conviction,                                                                    
particularly  without a  willing  witness,  would have  been                                                                    
difficult to prove.                                                                                                             
9:44:50 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair von Imhof OPENED public testimony.                                                                                     
ELIZABETH  WILLIAMS, NO  MORE  FREE  PASSES, ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified  in  support of  the  bill.  She                                                                    
commented that the  bill was different than  any other crime                                                                    
bill  because crimes  that involved  power and  control were                                                                    
different  than other  crimes and  needed  to be  prosecuted                                                                    
differently.  She discussed  recent criminal  justice reform                                                                    
efforts. She  stated that  the goal of  No More  Free Passes                                                                    
was  to  educate  policy-makers   that  crimes  of  domestic                                                                    
violence   and  sexual   assault   needed   to  be   treated                                                                    
differently. She compared strangulation to water-boarding.                                                                      
Ms.  Williams asserted  that crimes  of sexual  assault were                                                                    
similar to  torture and  would stay  with victims  for life.                                                                    
She  discussed the  rate  of recidivism  and  cited that  45                                                                    
percent of domestic  violence perpetrators committed another                                                                    
crime of  domestic violence. She  informed that most  of the                                                                    
time perpetrators  of domestic  violence and  sexual assault                                                                    
victimized the same people. She  pointed out that release of                                                                    
the  perpetrators   potentially  revictimized   people.  She                                                                    
supported a provision that was  added to require prosecutors                                                                    
to confer with victims.                                                                                                         
9:48:50 AM                                                                                                                    
MARIE  MCCONNELL,   SELF,  STERLING   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in  opposition  to  the  bill.  She  opposed  the                                                                    
provision of  the bill  related to  not allowing  credit for                                                                    
time spent on ankle  monitoring. She discussed the financial                                                                    
costs  and restrictions  of  ankle  monitoring. She  thought                                                                    
ankle  monitoring was  a severe  restriction of  liberty and                                                                    
was a severe punishment.                                                                                                        
9:52:06 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair von Imhof CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                     
Senator Wilson asked about Section  9 of the bill and wanted                                                                    
a  description of  how the  provision might  work in  a case                                                                    
similar to the Schneider case being discussed.                                                                                  
KACI   SCHROEDER,  ASSISTANT   ATTORNEY  GENERAL,   CRIMINAL                                                                    
DIVISION, DEPARTMENT  OF LAW, informed that  the language in                                                                    
Section  9  outlined  best  practice  for  a  prosecutor  in                                                                    
consulting with  a victim. She  noted that the  practice was                                                                    
not unlike what  was already being done for  most cases. She                                                                    
conveyed  that  at the  case  initiation;  the office  would                                                                    
attempt to  contact victims by  phone, email, or  letter. In                                                                    
the  initial  contact  the  prosecutors  would  explain  the                                                                    
victim's rights and inform of  consultation in the case of a                                                                    
plea  agreement or  what might  happen if  the case  when to                                                                    
trial. If  a victim was  inclined to be  involved, automatic                                                                    
systems  would  send  notifications of  court  hearings  and                                                                    
potential  offender release.  If the  victim did  not agree,                                                                    
the attorneys would make note  and often let the court know.                                                                    
At the point  of a plea agreement, the  office would contact                                                                    
the victim  and consider  feedback. Victims could  also show                                                                    
up  at change  of plea  hearings to  express dissatisfaction                                                                    
with the agreement.                                                                                                             
Senator Wilson wondered how the  victim's agreement would be                                                                    
recorded  into the  record. He  had worked  with victims  of                                                                    
domestic violence and sexual assault.  He was concerned that                                                                    
the  criminal  process was  but  one  piece of  the  puzzle,                                                                    
followed  by  the  civil process.  He  thought  whether  the                                                                    
agreement was recorded could have  a difference in the civil                                                                    
Ms.  Schroeder stated  that a  victim's information/feedback                                                                    
would be recorded  in the electronic and hard  file, and the                                                                    
information  would be  accessible to  any prosecutor  in the                                                                    
trial.  The information  was not  available on  a searchable                                                                    
9:56:06 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Wilson did  not want  to see  the civil  process or                                                                    
seeking of  damages negatively affected  by the  record from                                                                    
the criminal case.                                                                                                              
Senator Micciche noted that the  testifier had used the word                                                                    
"often" (in  reference to  recording victim's  feedback) and                                                                    
noted  that   the  bill  required   the  recording   of  the                                                                    
information.  He was  not sure  he could  make a  connection                                                                    
between  plea  agreements and  change  in  civil status.  He                                                                    
noted  that  the  bill formalized  a  process  that  usually                                                                    
existed.  He  had felt  that  if  the information  had  been                                                                    
recorded in the  Schneider case it could have  resulted in a                                                                    
different outcome.                                                                                                              
Ms.  Schroeder stated  that  Senator  Micciche was  correct.                                                                    
While  it was  currently the  policy  of LAW  to record  the                                                                    
information, the bill would make it law.                                                                                        
Senator  Wielechowski  referenced  Section 9,  which  stated                                                                    
that prosecuting  attorneys should make a  reasonable effort                                                                    
to confer with  victims. He wondered if  there was liability                                                                    
or repercussions if  an attempt was not made  to contact the                                                                    
Ms. Schroeder  was not certain  but affirmed  that employees                                                                    
of LAW were required to follow the law.                                                                                         
Senator Wielechowski  asked if  the state had  been prepared                                                                    
to prosecute  the Schneider case  if the plea  agreement was                                                                    
rejected; and if so, on what grounds.                                                                                           
Ms. Schroeder  stated she  had not  prosecuted the  case and                                                                    
had not  done an audit  of the case.  She did not  know what                                                                    
the state  had been ready  to go  forward with had  the plea                                                                    
agreement   been  rejected.   She   offered   to  get   more                                                                    
Senator Wielechowski was interested  in more information. He                                                                    
did  not understand  why the  charge of  kidnapping was  not                                                                    
pursued, and  thought the  acts in  question were  clearly a                                                                    
case  of  attempted  murder.  He  thought  the  law  already                                                                    
covered the  matter and  wanted to  know why  the department                                                                    
settled for a very lenient plea agreement.                                                                                      
10:00:48 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair von Imhof  interjected that it was  not relevant to                                                                    
the bill to discuss opinions on the plea agreement.                                                                             
Senator Wielechowski  opined that the case  was relevant. He                                                                    
asserted  that  the current  law  was  not followed  in  the                                                                    
Schneider case,  and passing a  new bill was not  needed. He                                                                    
wanted more information from the department.                                                                                    
Co-Chair von  Imhof asked  Ms. Schneider  to follow  up with                                                                    
Senator  Wielechowski to  address why  particular laws  were                                                                    
not  followed  at  the  time. She  mentioned  the  issue  of                                                                    
kidnapping and asked for the subject to be addressed.                                                                           
Senator  Olson  thought  the bill  might  be  inadequate  to                                                                    
address the  concerns being discussed. He  thought Section 9                                                                    
of the  bill was  particularly troubling,  in that  that LAW                                                                    
was  unbound by  the  victim's response  regarding the  plea                                                                    
agreement.  He  was  also   interested  in  the  information                                                                    
Senator Wielechowski had requested from Ms. Schroeder.                                                                          
Co-Chair  von  Imhof  acknowledged  the  ongoing  discussion                                                                    
regarding Section 9  of the bill and urged  the bill sponsor                                                                    
to work with LAW to look at the section.                                                                                        
Senator   Micciche   addressed    a   comment   by   Senator                                                                    
Wielechowski and wanted understanding  that whether or not a                                                                    
conviction would  have occurred (in the  Schneider case) for                                                                    
kidnapping or  murder; the perpetrator still  would not have                                                                    
been  charged  with  commission   of  a  sex  crime  because                                                                    
"unwanted contact  with semen"  had not been  a prosecutable                                                                    
offense.  He  emphasized  that the  bill  was  necessary  to                                                                    
adequately prosecute  crimes such  as the one  that occurred                                                                    
in the Schneider case.                                                                                                          
Senator Shower  asked about  the blank  spots on  the bottom                                                                    
right  of  that chart  the  sponsor  provided (copy  not  on                                                                    
file),  and if  it indicated  there were  no changes  to the                                                                    
provisions under SB 12.                                                                                                         
Senator Micciche answered in the affirmative.                                                                                   
10:04:11 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Wielechowski  agreed that  changes needed  to happen                                                                    
in the  area of law  pertaining to sex crimes.  He addressed                                                                    
Section 3 of the bill and  thought there might be some merit                                                                    
to keeping  some of the  credits for time spent  on electric                                                                    
monitoring. He asked  if it was standard  procedure in other                                                                    
states  to   have  credit  for  time   spent  on  electronic                                                                    
monitoring,  and  if  Alaska had  historically  allowed  the                                                                    
Ms.  Schroeder stated  that the  language in  Section 3  had                                                                    
been in law  for many years prior to  five years previously,                                                                    
when the  legislature had passed  a law allowing  for credit                                                                    
for  time spent  on  electronic monitoring.  She noted  that                                                                    
some of  the credit had  been capped at  360 days via  SB 91                                                                    
[criminal  justice reform  legislation passed  in 2016]  for                                                                    
certain violent offenses. The fact  that people were getting                                                                    
credit for electronic monitoring  pre-trial was a fairly new                                                                    
development in Alaska  law. She was not aware of  the law in                                                                    
other states.                                                                                                                   
Senator Wilson thought the  credit for electronic monitoring                                                                    
was  inequitable  due  to   the  financial  requirements  to                                                                    
participate. He wanted  to see it capped or left  out of the                                                                    
bill.  He   appreciated  the   sponsor's  omission   of  the                                                                    
provision in the bill.                                                                                                          
Senator Micciche  anticipated that  the issue  of electronic                                                                    
monitoring  would resurface  in  the other  body. He  wanted                                                                    
people  to  consider  that  for  pre-trial  monitoring,  the                                                                    
benefit of the  credit would be given to  those convicted of                                                                    
a  crime while  being  withheld from  those  who were  found                                                                    
innocent. He pointed  out that it was still  possible to use                                                                    
electronic   monitoring   post-conviction  for   the   right                                                                    
candidate. He  thought the Schneider  case had  incentive to                                                                    
delay  and  had  resulted  in  a sentence  of  one  year  on                                                                    
electronic monitoring. He noted  that the proposed change to                                                                    
law for electronic monitoring was  only for crimes against a                                                                    
person, and  still allowed for  the credit for  minor crimes                                                                    
not against a person.                                                                                                           
Co-Chair von Imhof  thought she heard that  it was important                                                                    
to   determine   what   factors  contributed   towards   the                                                                    
unsatisfactory  results  in  the Schneider  case,  and  what                                                                    
could be done to mitigate  the factors. She thought the bill                                                                    
was  a step  in the  right direction.  She suggested  it was                                                                    
important to research other possible steps.                                                                                     
10:08:21 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Wilson  referenced the  question of  innocent people                                                                    
spending time on electronic monitoring.  He asked if banking                                                                    
of time served for similar crimes was still used.                                                                               
Ms. Schroeder  stated that banking  of time was not  used in                                                                    
the way Senator Wilson  described. She continued that people                                                                    
could bank time if they were  serving time on the same case.                                                                    
If a person  was serving time on  electronic monitoring, and                                                                    
then  was  acquitted, the  person  could  not use  the  time                                                                    
accrued on another case.                                                                                                        
Senator Wilson asked about case globalization settlement.                                                                       
Ms.  Schneider thought  as part  of global  resolutions, the                                                                    
court  would  address  the  matter and  use  time  spent  on                                                                    
electronic monitoring.                                                                                                          
Senator  Wilson   asked  how  many  cases   similar  to  the                                                                    
Schneider case resulted in global resolutions.                                                                                  
Ms.   Schroeder  informed   that  global   resolutions  were                                                                    
typically found when a person  had many cases and LAW wanted                                                                    
to dispose of the cases in  one agreement. She could not say                                                                    
that the  resolutions were or  were not typical to  one kind                                                                    
of case.                                                                                                                        
Senator Wilson referenced  his experience testifying against                                                                    
batterers  and recalled  many other  charges  being used  to                                                                    
dismiss cases.                                                                                                                  
Ms. Schroeder  was not sure she  understood Senator Wilson's                                                                    
Senator  Wilson asked  if there  was  anything in  SB 12  to                                                                    
prohibit a  globalization plea  agreement that  would offset                                                                    
what was trying to be remedied in the bill.                                                                                     
Ms.  Schroeder stated  that there  was nothing  in the  bill                                                                    
that would impact  how the state could  negotiate cases. She                                                                    
continued  that the  bill gave  prosecutors  more tools  and                                                                    
more  flexibility on  how cases  may resolve.  She used  the                                                                    
example of  the addition of  enhanced penalties for  using a                                                                    
dangerous instrument in furtherance of a sexual assault.                                                                        
10:11:57 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  Wilson  pondered  if   Justin  Schneider  had  been                                                                    
serving time  on ankle monitoring  and if his case  had been                                                                    
globalized. He  thought it was  possible that he  would have                                                                    
served  no  time after  credit  for  time spent  on  another                                                                    
Ms. Schroeder  wanted to check  on the transferring  of time                                                                    
as described  by Senator  Wilson, which  she stated  did not                                                                    
happen often. She offered to provide more information.                                                                          
Senator Bishop  was glad  to hear  Ms. Schroeder  state that                                                                    
prosecutors would have more tools.                                                                                              
Co-Chair von Imhof stated the  committee would hold the bill                                                                    
for further  review and  members would  have time  to pursue                                                                    
more information.                                                                                                               
10:13:54 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Micciche commented that  there was a secondary value                                                                    
of  the bill.  He cited  that 63  percent of  sexual assault                                                                    
crimes in the state were  not reported, which he thought was                                                                    
in part because  of outcomes such as in  the Schneider case.                                                                    
He hoped  the changes proposed  in the bill would  result in                                                                    
more reporting and  encourage victims to engage  more in the                                                                    
trial process.                                                                                                                  
Senator  Micciche  reviewed  FN  1, OMB  component  43.  The                                                                    
fiscal note was indeterminate. He  read from the analysis on                                                                    
page 2:                                                                                                                         
     This bill will increase caseloads. The state will                                                                          
     likely bring more cases, and these cases will require                                                                      
     significant resources because of the severity of the                                                                       
     charges and consequences of conviction.                                                                                    
Senator  Micciche reviewed  FN  2, OMB  component 1631.  The                                                                    
fiscal note was indeterminate for the same reason as FN 1.                                                                      
Senator  Micciche reviewed  FN  3, OMB  component 2134.  The                                                                    
fiscal note showed zero fiscal impact.                                                                                          
Senator  Micciche reviewed  FN  4, OMB  component 2202.  The                                                                    
fiscal note showed zero fiscal impact.                                                                                          
Senator  Micciche  reviewed FN  5,  OMB  component 768.  The                                                                    
fiscal note showed zero fiscal impact.                                                                                          
Senator Micciche discussed a sixth fiscal note.                                                                                 
Co-Chair von Imhof did not have the fiscal note.                                                                                
10:17:38 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
10:18:30 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair von  Imhof noted that  the most recent  fiscal note                                                                    
discussed  by  Senator Micciche  had  not  been provided  to                                                                    
members. She set the bill aside for further consideration.                                                                      
SB  12  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
Co-Chair von Imhof discussed the  schedule for the following                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CSSSSB 12 Sponsor Statement v. O.pdf SFIN 3/11/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 12
CSSSSB 12 Sectional Analysis Version O.pdf SFIN 3/11/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 12
CSSSSB12 Explanation of Changes from Version U to O.pdf SFIN 3/11/2019 9:00:00 AM
SJUD 3/4/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 12
SB 12 - DoLaw PR 9.21.18.pdf SFIN 3/11/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 12
SB 12 - KTUU Article 9.26.18.pdf SFIN 3/11/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 12
SB 12 - WP Article 9.22.18.pdf SFIN 3/11/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 12
SB 12 ANDVSA Invited Testimony.pdf SFIN 3/11/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 12
SB 12 Letter of Support APOA 2.6.19.pdf SFIN 3/11/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 12
SB 12 Star Article 8.14.17.pdf SFIN 3/11/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 12