Legislature(2009 - 2010)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/17/2010 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Confirmations: TELECONFERENCED
Public Defender; Boards and Commissions
Moved CSSB 202(JUD) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 284(JUD) Out of Committee
                SB 297-RETURN OF SEIZED PROPERTY                                                                            
2:17:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR FRENCH announced the consideration of SB 297.                                                                             
SENATOR  FRED DYSON,  sponsor  of SB  297, noted  that  he has  a                                                               
committee substitute (CS) to propose.                                                                                           
2:18:46 PM                                                                                                                    
CHUCK  KOPP, Staff  to Senator  Dyson, said  SB 297  ensures that                                                               
seized property  is held only  as long as  is necessary so  as to                                                               
not  jeopardize  the case.  The  bill  provides  in Title  12  an                                                               
identifiable process for an individual  to petition the court for                                                               
the recovery  of their property  in circumstances where  they are                                                               
not otherwise able to reach agreement with interested parties.                                                                  
MR. KOPP  related that prosecutors statewide  have indicated that                                                               
the current  process could use refinement,  particularly when the                                                               
property  is of  significant  value. The  Alaska Peace  Officers'                                                               
Association  has endorsed  the  proposed  CS, which  additionally                                                               
states that  within 10 days of  a request for return  of property                                                               
and  upon reasonable  notice to  interested  parties, the  agency                                                               
shall request a hearing before the court.                                                                                       
CHAIR FRENCH asked for a motion to adopt the CS.                                                                                
2:21:49 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL  moved to adopt  the judiciary work draft  CS for                                                               
SB  297,  labeled 26-LS1536\R,  as  the  working document.  There                                                               
being no objection, version R was before the committee.                                                                         
CHAIR FRENCH  noted the  letter of  support from  law enforcement                                                               
and asked  the sponsor if he  had anything else to  say about the                                                               
SENATOR DYSON  related anecdotal stories to  demonstrate the need                                                               
and  noted that  some heavy  equipment operators  don't call  the                                                               
police when their equipment is  stolen because the return time is                                                               
too long.                                                                                                                       
2:24:53 PM                                                                                                                    
ANNE CARPENETI,  Attorney, Criminal  Division, Department  of Law                                                               
(DOL), said  getting property  back to victims  of crime  is very                                                               
important, but the  problem is that the state  sometimes needs to                                                               
hold the  seized property  as evidence  in a  criminal procedure.                                                               
The defense  often has an interest  in that too. She  said she is                                                               
concerned and would like to talk  to the sponsor about the 10-day                                                               
limit  for  retaining  the  property  after  a  request  and  the                                                               
provision that  allows both the  defense bar and  the prosecution                                                               
to weigh  in. If  the police  have to give  the evidence  back it                                                               
breaks the chain  of custody. She also  suggested the possibility                                                               
of cross referencing  this with other bills. For  example, a bill                                                               
under consideration now  pertains to retention of  evidence for a                                                               
long period of time. She summarized  that the bill is generally a                                                               
good idea and DOL could support the concept but it has concerns.                                                                
2:27:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MCGUIRE joined the committee.                                                                                           
CHAIR FRENCH asked  Ms. Carpeneti at the next  hearing to provide                                                               
concrete ideas about how to  address the concerns she articulated                                                               
and announced he would hold SB 297 in committee.                                                                                

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