Legislature(1997 - 1998)

04/06/1998 09:05 AM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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      SB 237 - COUNCIL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE & SEXUAL ASSAULT                      
                                                                               
Anne Carpeneti, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law,                 
explained that Section 7 of CSSB 237 was changed to read "acts of              
domestic violence" rather than "crimes of domestic violence,"  in              
relation to using such evidence in a domestic violence prosecution.            
She pointed out that the change brings into the evidence rules the             
practice most judges use today.  When a judge is considering entry             
of evidence of a prior bad act, the party attempting to introduce              
the evidence raises the issue before the judge, outside of the                 
presence of the jury.  The judge listens to arguments in favor of,             
and in opposition to, the admission of evidence by the prosecution             
and the defense.  The judge then considers whether the evidence is             
relevant, reliable, and whether other evidence rules apply such as             
whether the evidence was based on hearsay.  If the judge decides               
the evidence has passed that test, the judge then applies Evidence             
Rule 403, which requires that the prejudicial effect of the                    
evidence not outweigh its probative value.  Once the judge has made            
his/her determination, the evidence is or is not admitted and heard            
by the jury, depending on the judge's decision.                                
                                                                               
SENATOR GREEN asked if, in legal terms, crimes involving domestic              
violence and acts of domestic violence differ.                                 
                                                                               
MS. CARPENETI replied that in terms of this particular rule, there             
should be no difference.  Crimes involving domestic violence are               
defined, in Title 18 of Alaska statutes, as certain crimes against             
certain people.  The court would interpret acts of domestic                    
violence by the same definition as it would interpret crimes                   
involving domestic violence.  The problem with using the word                  
"crime"  is that at least one judge is interpreting that to mean a             
conviction rather than an act.                                                 
                                                                               
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                            
                                                                               
SENATOR LEMAN moved CSSB 237 from committee with individual                    
recommendations.                                                               
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS objected and asked if the provision to extend the                
life of CDVSA is still in the bill.                                            
                                                                               
SENATOR GREEN replied that provision is on page 3, line 10.                    
                                                                               
Number 113                                                                     
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS asked if the other language in the bill was requested            
by Senator Leman.                                                              
                                                                               
SENATOR LEMAN explained parts of SB 316 were rolled into this bill             
at his and Senator Parnell's request.                                          
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS asked whether the committee had received any                     
testimony from the domestic violence treatment community about the             
bill.                                                                          
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN WILKEN replied Ms. Andreen testified in support of the                
legislation on the previous Friday.                                            
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS asked if the committee substitute had been adopted.              
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN WILKEN stated it had.                                                 
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS removed his objection to move CSSB 237 from                      
committee, therefore the motion carried.                                       

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