Legislature(2019 - 2020)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/04/2019 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 12 ASSAULT; SEX OFFENSES; SENTENCING CREDIT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSSSB 12(JUD) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+= SB 35 CRIMES;SEX CRIMES;SENTENCING; PAROLE TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
+= SB 34 PROBATION; PAROLE; SENTENCES; CREDITS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         SB 12-ASSAULT; SEX OFFENSES; SENTENCING CREDIT                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:33:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE  FOR SENATE BILL  NO. 12, "An Act  relating to                                                               
crime  and criminal  procedure;  relating to  assault and  sexual                                                               
assault;  relating to  harassment;  relating to  credit toward  a                                                               
sentence of  imprisonment for time  spent in a  treatment program                                                               
or under  electronic monitoring;  and providing for  an effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
[Before the committee was the  committee substitute (CS) for SSSB
12, work order 31-LS0263\O.1, referred to as Version O.]                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:33:58 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES made opening remark and reviewed the process taken                                                                 
on SB 12, including that public testimony was previously taken                                                                  
and is now closed.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:34:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL made a motion to adopt Amendment 1 to SB 12, work                                                                 
order 31-LS0263\O.1, Radford, 2/28/19.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                          AMENDMENT 1                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     OFFERED IN THE SENATE                     BY SENATOR KIEHL                                                                 
     TO:  CSSSSB 12(JUD), Draft Version "O"                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 26, through page 3, line 7:                                                                                   
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
        "* Sec. 3. AS 12.55.027(d) is amended to read:                                                                      
          (d)  A court may grant credit against a sentence                                                                      
     of  imprisonment   for  time  spent   under  electronic                                                                    
     monitoring if                                                                                                              
               (1)  the person has not committed a criminal                                                                 
     offense while under electronic monitoring;                                                                             
               (2)  the electronic monitoring is ordered in                                                                 
     connection with  an offense that  is not a  sex offense                                                                
     as defined in AS 12.63.100; and                                                                                        
               (3)  the court imposes restrictions on the                                                                   
     person's freedom  of movement and behavior  while under                                                                    
     the electronic monitoring  program, including requiring                                                                    
     the person to be confined to a residence except for a                                                                      
               (A)  [(1)] court appearance;                                                                                 
              (B)  [(2)] meeting with counsel; or                                                                           
               (C)  [(3)] period during which the person is                                                                 
     at a location ordered by  the court for the purposes of                                                                    
     employment,   attending   educational   or   vocational                                                                    
     training,  performing  community   volunteer  work,  or                                                                    
     attending   a   rehabilitative  activity   or   medical                                                                    
     appointment."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 8, line 31:                                                                                                           
          Delete "AS 12.55.027(g)"                                                                                              
          Insert "AS 12.55.027(g)(3)"                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
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          Delete "AS 12.55.027(e), as amended by sec. 4 of                                                                      
     this Act,"                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
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          Insert "sec. 8"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, line 9:                                                                                                            
          Delete "AS 12.55.027(g) by sec. 10"                                                                                   
          Insert "AS 12.55.027(g)(3) by sec. 9"                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE objected for discussion purposes.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:34:39 PM                                                                                                                    
At-ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:35:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES reconvened the meeting.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:35:34 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL explained  that Amendment 1 relates  to credits for                                                               
electronic monitoring  called Nygren credits [based  on Nygren v.                                                               
State  (1980)]. This  provision would  remove the  opportunity to                                                               
receive credit  for time  spent on  electronic monitoring  if the                                                               
offender  is  ultimately convicted  of  a  sex offense.  However,                                                               
credit  for   time  spent  on  electronic   monitoring  would  be                                                               
available for those who are  ultimately convicted of crimes other                                                               
than sex offense  crimes. He offered his belief  that [credit for                                                               
electronic  monitoring for  non-sex offenders]  is a  much bigger                                                               
policy  question  than  SB  12   was  intended  to  address.  The                                                               
underlying bill is a good bill  since it would close loopholes in                                                               
the Justin Schneider case and address some sex offense issues.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
He  explained that  under Amendment  1, anyone  accused of  a sex                                                               
offense  would  not  get  credit for  time  spent  on  electronic                                                               
monitoring during  the pretrial  phase. He surmised  that non-sex                                                               
offenders who receive  credit for time served are  more likely to                                                               
succeed  in   society.  For  example,  one   scenario  previously                                                               
discussed in committee  pertained to offenders who  are off their                                                               
medications and need mental health  treatment. If these offenders                                                               
could obtain electronic monitoring  credits, it might be possible                                                               
for  them to  retain their  jobs, continue  their treatment,  and                                                               
stay  connected to  their families,  and stay  out of  prison. He                                                               
pointed  out that  currently  Lemon  Creek Correctional  Facility                                                               
(LCCF)  does not  offer drug  treatment programs.  If these  same                                                               
offenders in  the scenario described are  incarcerated, they will                                                               
be  subjected to  the adverse  aspects of  criminals who  clearly                                                               
need to be imprisoned.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
He emphasized  that under  Amendment 1, a  sex offender,  such as                                                               
Justin  Schneider,  would  be  incarcerated   and  would  not  be                                                               
eligible  to receive  credit for  electronic monitoring,  but the                                                               
amendment would not go beyond that, he said.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:38:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  remarked that  medications are  administered within                                                               
the  prison system  so the  idea of  someone who  is incarcerated                                                               
having to  be off their  medication is not accurate.  In speaking                                                               
with   the   Commissioner   Designee  for   the   Department   of                                                               
Corrections,  the department  intends  to  expand drug  treatment                                                               
within the  prison system.  Further, pre-sentence  drug treatment                                                               
is counted as good time, she said.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
She   expressed  concern   that  Amendment   1  would   reinstate                                                               
electronic  monitoring  for all  crimes  except  sex crimes.  She                                                               
pointed  out  that this  includes  a  disturbing set  of  crimes,                                                               
including  crimes involving  domestic violence  as defined  in AS                                                               
18.66.990,   an  offense   involving   delivering  a   controlled                                                               
substance to a  minor in AS 11.71, burglary in  the first degree,                                                               
and arson  in the first degree  under AS 11.46.400, and  a felony                                                               
crime against a person under  AS ll.41. She reminded members that                                                               
AS  11.41  is  the  cite  that  includes  strangulation  and  the                                                               
enhanced    sentencing   structure    for   offenses    involving                                                               
strangulation.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES said  that to  say that  the bill  goes beyond  the                                                               
scope  of  its  original  intent   by  not  allowing  credit  for                                                               
electronic monitoring is completely  inaccurate. Mr. Skidmore put                                                               
on  the record  that defendants  are purposefully  stretching out                                                               
their   time  on   electronic  monitoring   in  order   to  avoid                                                               
incarceration. She  emphasized that this section  speaks directly                                                               
to  what allowed  many criminals,  including Justin  Schneider to                                                               
avoid jail  time. As  the committee  heard from  many testifiers,                                                               
the time for free passes has  to end. She said the committee will                                                               
hear  testimony  from a  man  whose  wife  was  killed in  a  DUI                                                               
[Driving while Under the Influence]  and that person has been out                                                               
on  an ankle  electronic monitor.  This  man and  his son  suffer                                                               
daily, but  the man  who killed  his wife  has been  enjoying the                                                               
luxury of  being in  his own  home on an  ankle monitor,  free to                                                               
watch television,  and to eat what  he wants to eat.  She offered                                                               
her belief that  this pre-sentence credit does not  seem right or                                                               
fair to  the victims.  She reiterated that  many of  these crimes                                                               
listed are  very serious  crimes. She said  she will  not support                                                               
[Amendment 1.]                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:42:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE remarked that another  thing to consider is that                                                               
electronic monitoring can be part  of a sentence post-conviction.                                                               
This  removes the  credit  for  pretrial time,  but  it does  not                                                               
eliminate  post-conviction credits.  Further, [Amendment  1] also                                                               
assumes  that sex  crimes result  in convictions,  but often  sex                                                               
crimes  are a  product of  other crimes,  such as  burglaries and                                                               
domestic  violence.  He  said that  someone  could  still  obtain                                                               
electronic monitoring credit even if  the person was convicted of                                                               
the other  crimes. He  maintained his  belief that  the direction                                                               
taken  in [Version  O]  is  the right  one.  Finally, this  would                                                               
essentially be giving  the same rights to someone  convicted of a                                                               
very serious crime as to someone  who is proven innocent. He said                                                               
that he cannot support Amendment 1.  He said that the courts have                                                               
discretion  for   special  cases.   This  language   removes  the                                                               
incentive for defendants to stretch  out their cases, he said. He                                                               
pointed out that the Justin  Schneider case was delayed six times                                                               
at  the  request  of  defense counsel,  and  five  times  pending                                                               
negotiation,  which delayed  sentencing to  just beyond  the one-                                                               
year timeframe.  The reality is  that Justin Schneider  was given                                                               
credit for  the year on  electronic monitoring and  suspended the                                                               
remaining one-year  sentence, which mean "he  walked." He offered                                                               
his  belief that  it is  appropriate in  this case  and in  other                                                               
cases  where sexual  assault might  not be  proven, so  for those                                                               
reasons he cannot support [Amendment 1].                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:45:01 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  said she appreciates  that an innocent  person pre-                                                               
conviction must bear  the loss of time whereas the  person who is                                                               
convicted  would  obtain  a benefit  from  electronic  monitoring                                                               
credit.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:45:52 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN  SKIDMORE,  Director,  Criminal  Division,  Central  Office,                                                               
Department of  Law, Anchorage,  stated that  the points  that the                                                               
sponsor  and Chair  Hughes made  are well  founded. He  said that                                                               
[Amendment  1]  would  allow  individuals  to  obtain  additional                                                               
credit towards their sentences.  He directed attention to current                                                               
AS  12.55.027, such  that  the amount  of  credit for  electronic                                                               
monitoring is limited for certain  types of crimes, but for other                                                               
crimes is  unlimited. In the  felony DUI case  mentioned earlier,                                                               
the  person  will  get  credit  for all  of  the  time  spent  on                                                               
electronic monitoring  pretrial no matter  the length of  the DUI                                                               
sentence. The  murder aspect  would be limited  to one  year, but                                                               
the other  aspects would not,  he said.  He pointed out  that the                                                               
Justin Schneider case would  receive electronic monitoring credit                                                               
under Amendment 1 because he did  not commit a sex crime since he                                                               
committed the  crime of strangulation.  He directed  attention to                                                               
other crimes  that offenders could receive  electronic monitoring                                                               
credit for, including misconduct involving  weapons or a drive by                                                               
shooting.  A  person  could receive  unlimited  credit  while  on                                                               
electronic monitoring pretrial or  for promoting contraband, such                                                               
as bringing weapons  or drugs into prison  facilities. He related                                                               
that  misconduct   involving  a   corpse,  cruelty   to  animals,                                                               
misconduct  involving  controlled  substances,  and  interference                                                               
with constitutional  rights are  crimes in which  offenders could                                                               
serve their  entire jail  on electronic  monitoring, he  said. He                                                               
characterized this as  the type of policy call  that members face                                                               
when considering Amendment 1.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:49:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIEHL wondered  if the  public defender  could speak  to                                                               
Amendment 1.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES responded that the person is not online.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:49:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL  said that  he appreciated  the discussion  and the                                                               
information that with  the remainder of the bill  that the Justin                                                               
Schneider crime  would fall  within sex crimes  and he  would not                                                               
have been  allowed to be  on electronic monitoring. He  said that                                                               
is  important since  it  matches  with his  intent.  Some of  the                                                               
arguments did not resonate with  him, such as watching television                                                               
on  electronic  monitoring,  since correctional  facilities  also                                                               
have television.  He also  pointed out  that a  person who  is in                                                               
prison  awaiting trial  who is  ultimately  found innocent  would                                                               
also have lost time that the individual could not get back.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He said that  prosecutors testify that changing  the law benefits                                                               
the  defense and  defense  attorneys testify  that  it tilts  the                                                               
table  in  favor  of  the prosecution.  He  emphasized  that  his                                                               
interest lies with individuals who  need mental health treatment,                                                               
such  as 90  meetings  in  90 days  outpatient  drug and  alcohol                                                               
treatment.  He   reminded  members  that  individuals   who  [are                                                               
arraigned] have  a constitutional right to  a trial by a  jury of                                                               
their  peers. He  expressed concern  that these  people are  less                                                               
likely  to get  back  on  the straight  and  narrow. He  directed                                                               
attention to  the first line  of Amendment  1 and said  the court                                                               
"may" not  "shall" grant credit  against a sentence,  which gives                                                               
the  courts  discretion. He  offered  his  belief  that it  is  a                                                               
worthwhile tool that  should be kept outside of the  realm of sex                                                               
crimes. He  suggested that  in this  instance discretion  has the                                                               
potential  to reduce  crime  and  that should  be  the focus.  He                                                               
encouraged a "yes" vote on [Amendment 1].                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:52:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES said  she appreciates that the  sponsor of Amendment                                                               
1 is  interested in  having offenders "get  back on  the straight                                                               
and narrow"  since it helps  keep communities safe. In  her view,                                                               
nothing in the crime package would  try to change that goal since                                                               
to  goal is  to have  safe communities.  She stated  that she  is                                                               
working with the DOC to make  changes within the system. She said                                                               
that   inmates  can   receive  mental   health  treatment   while                                                               
incarcerated.  She  explained  her  concern  about  offenders  on                                                               
electronic  monitoring is  that they  choose what  to watch,  but                                                               
correctional officers  have control over the  remote control. She                                                               
emphasized   that  offenders   on   electronic  monitoring   have                                                               
substantially more freedom.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:53:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE offered  to clarify his comments. He  said if an                                                               
individual is accused of a crime  and spends a year on electronic                                                               
monitoring, and is  not guilty, they lose the year  they spent on                                                               
electronic monitoring. If someone else  is accused of a crime and                                                               
spends a  year on  electronic monitoring  [and is  found guilty],                                                               
that person is  given credit for serving the same  amount of time                                                               
as the innocent  person. The Constitution of the  State of Alaska                                                               
requires community condemnation or  "paying" the price to society                                                               
for that crime.  Electronic monitoring spent in a  luxury home on                                                               
Kachemak Bay  in his view  is not paying  a price to  society for                                                               
that crime. He emphasized that  he believes in rehabilitation and                                                               
helping  the offender  to succeed  once the  person has  done so.                                                               
However, [one] problem  with Senate Bill 91 is that  it seemed to                                                               
forget  that there  is  a price  to be  paid  for crimes  against                                                               
others.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He said  that someone in a  low-level crime who is  not likely to                                                               
benefit from incarceration can pay  that price in some other way.                                                               
The courts  can still  use electronic  monitoring post-conviction                                                               
to avoid incarceration.  He characterized Amendment 1  as a means                                                               
to  default to  electronic monitoring  as a  means of  paying the                                                               
sentence, whereas  [SB 12] uses electronic  monitoring in special                                                               
cases   to   manage   sentencing   if  it   meets   very   narrow                                                               
qualifications. He said that is the only difference.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:56:04 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE maintained his objection.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:56:14 PM                                                                                                                    
A  roll call  vote was  taken. Senator  Kiehl voted  in favor  of                                                               
Amendment 1  and Senators Reinbold, Shower,  Micciche, and Hughes                                                               
voted against it. Therefore, Amendment 1 failed by a 1:4 vote.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:56:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES opened public testimony on SB 12.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:57:12 PM                                                                                                                    
ERIK REED,  representing himself, Wasilla, stated  that his wife,                                                               
Brandy Jean Reed, died on December  13, 2017 due to drunk driving                                                               
crash.  He and  his son  survived.  The man  responsible for  his                                                               
wife's  death  has  been  out  for  over  a  year  on  electronic                                                               
monitoring, first  with his family,  girlfriend and  children and                                                               
now with  a childhood best friend.  He said that the  offender is                                                               
free  to live  his life.  He  said he  has tried  to maintain  an                                                               
attitude of  forgiveness so he can  teach his son how  to abstain                                                               
from a life of revenge.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He said that it has been  hard and traumatic. Time and time again                                                               
he  must  relive   it  and  he  is  not   being  compensated.  He                                                               
characterized the  process as a  continuous one and said  he does                                                               
not attend  the pre-trial conference proceedings  because he does                                                               
not want to "pay  the man back for the life that  he took and the                                                               
lives that he destroyed." He said  his wife had four children and                                                               
a large  family and friends in  the Mat-Su Valley. He  said it is                                                               
unjust  to say  that the  offender could  do anything  that would                                                               
help preserve her  memory and bring her back. It  would be a slap                                                               
in the face  if the offender receives any credit  for time served                                                               
on electronic  monitoring for pretrial or  post-trial because the                                                               
family will  never get  Brandy Jean  Reed back  ever. He  said he                                                               
must live the  life he has been  given to live. He  must abide by                                                               
the laws  and be an  upstanding member  of society. He  hopes the                                                               
committee  will take  into consideration  that victims  exist. He                                                               
related that people talk about  reform, reformation of criminals,                                                               
finances, money, but no one talks to the victims.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:59:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES remarked that she was sorry for his loss.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:59:29 PM                                                                                                                    
SYLVIA KENNEDY,  Member, 49th Rising, Anchorage,  stated that she                                                               
has friends that  have suffered crimes and this type  of crime is                                                               
one that  can be  traced back  to biblical  times. She  said that                                                               
people are often not punished for  their crimes. She said she did                                                               
not think  sexual offenders should use  electronic monitoring and                                                               
all  sex offenders  need  to  be registered.  She  said that  the                                                               
Justin Schneider  case was a  travesty and  she hoped that  SB 12                                                               
passes the legislature.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:01:03 PM                                                                                                                    
SCOTT CARSON,  representing himself,  Juneau, said he  has worked                                                               
in law  enforcement for 20  years. He spoke  in support of  SB 12                                                               
since it will  close loopholes and strengthen laws  in the state.                                                               
He  said  that  Alaska  leads  the nation  as  one  of  the  most                                                               
dangerous states  in terms  of sex crimes.  He related  that from                                                               
his  work  experience,  sexual  assaults are  some  of  the  most                                                               
damaging for victims and families.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:02:19 PM                                                                                                                    
DOROTHY KOEROK,  representing herself, Palmer, said  that in 2017                                                               
she was hired for a mining  project. She said she was not welcome                                                               
and  was   dishonored.  She  continually  had   to  wrestle  with                                                               
inappropriate  comments.  She  said  that  she  was  drugged  and                                                               
sexually  assaulted,  and  it  was   reported  to  her  immediate                                                               
supervisor. She  said once she was  off the boat [she  dealt with                                                               
various  agencies],  including  the Alaska  State  Troopers,  the                                                               
United States  Coast Guard,  the Office  of Victims'  Rights, and                                                               
the Human  Rights Commission.  During this  process she  felt she                                                               
was shamed, that  staff wanted to know what motivated  the men to                                                               
put  her in  an  altered  state of  consciousness.  She said  her                                                               
throat was damaged  in the process. In response  to Chair Hughes,                                                               
she  responded   that  she  supports   SB  12  in   reference  to                                                               
strangulation and use of a dangerous object.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:06:38 PM                                                                                                                    
KEELEY  OLSON,  Executive  Director,  Standing  Together  Against                                                               
Rape, Anchorage, testified  in support of all the  changes to the                                                               
law except  for Senator Kiehl's  amendment in response  to credit                                                               
for electronic  monitoring. She appreciated  the advocacy  by the                                                               
bill sponsor and the committee.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:08:06 PM                                                                                                                    
ELIZABETH  WILLIAMS,  representing  self, No  More  Free  Passes,                                                               
Anchorage, spoke  in support  of the  revision that  will require                                                               
prosecutors  to consult  with the  victim. She  said some  former                                                               
prosecutors   serve  on   her  organization's   board  and   that                                                               
prosecutors  already  consider it  to  be  the best  practice  to                                                               
affirmatively  reach out  to victims.  However, some  victims say                                                               
this does  not always  happen. This  change is  important because                                                               
the expectation is  in law that the prosecutor  "shall" reach out                                                               
to  the victim.  Currently,  the victim  shall  request that  the                                                               
prosecutor  confer with  the victim  regarding a  plea agreement.                                                               
This bill  would shift the  burden to the  state to reach  out to                                                               
the  victim.  Although  it  may  not  seem  like  a  big  change,                                                               
legislation shapes  culture. She  listed the  number of  things a                                                               
victim must do throughout the  judicial process if the individual                                                               
is sexually  assaulted. She  said that she  is very  pleased with                                                               
this change.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:10:44 PM                                                                                                                    
BETH FREAD, representing self, Palmer,  expressed her support for                                                               
SB 12 especially  related to electronic monitoring.  She said she                                                               
missed  the "marriage"  portion of  the crime  bill. She  thanked                                                               
members for the opportunity to testify.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES  referred to  another  bill  that addresses  sexual                                                               
crimes, which is SB 35, and  that bill contains the provision she                                                               
mentioned on marriage.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:11:54 PM                                                                                                                    
MARJORIE  LONG,  representing  self,  Point  Lay,  said  she  was                                                               
sexually  assaulted by  a family  member.  She said  that she  is                                                               
speaking out  because she  heard that  this person  has assaulted                                                               
another person. At  the time of her assault, the  village did not                                                               
have  any village  public safety  officers (VPSOs).  She did  not                                                               
have any support  or way of handling rape. She  said she lives in                                                               
a community  where many women carry  a burden like this  one. She                                                               
said that  she supports the bill  so that more women  will not be                                                               
choked during a sexual assault.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:13:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES thanked her for her bravery in speaking up.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:13:35 PM                                                                                                                    
VICKI JO KENNEDY, representing herself,  Kodiak, said she is glad                                                               
strangulation was  included [as a  crime] in the bill  because it                                                               
is difficult  to prove since it  often does not leave  marks. She                                                               
said she  was sexually  assaulted in 2013.  She sought  help from                                                               
the  Kodiak Women's  Resource and  Crisis Center.  She emphasized                                                               
the need  to "put teeth  in this bill"  and remove Alaska  as the                                                               
state with  the highest number  of sexual offenses in  the nation                                                               
per capita. She testified in support of SB 12.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:15:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRIS EICHENLAUB,  representing self,  Eagle River,  testified in                                                               
support of  SB 12. He  thanked members  for working to  close the                                                               
loopholes. He  said that perpetrators typically  strike more than                                                               
once.  He  said he  hopes  the  bill  passes. He  suggested  that                                                               
members might talk about castration down the road.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:16:33 PM                                                                                                                    
LISA ELLANNA, Volunteer Advocate,  Concerned Citizens, Nome, said                                                               
that she  works as a  volunteer for sexual and  domestic violence                                                               
victims  in the  region. She  said several  years ago  some women                                                               
started  meeting  informally  to   share  their  experiences  and                                                               
discovered that many of their  situations were not being properly                                                               
handled. She  spoke in support of  SB 12. She referred  to a 2014                                                               
Alaska Victimization  Survey in  the Nome  area conducted  by the                                                               
University  of  Alaska  Justice  Center,  which  showed  that  51                                                               
percent  of   adult  women  have  experienced   intimate  partner                                                               
violence,  sexual  violence or  both  in  their lifetime  and  of                                                               
those,  11 percent  have experienced  that violence  in the  past                                                               
year.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
She said  the State of  Alaska reports  that one in  three Alaska                                                               
Native women  have experienced sexual  violence at some  point in                                                               
their lives. One out of  two Alaska Native women have experienced                                                               
sexual violence other  than rape. The U.S.  Department of Justice                                                               
estimates that nationally only 30  percent of rapes are reported.                                                               
She offered  her belief that  a much smaller percentage  of rapes                                                               
are reported in Alaska, in  part, due to isolated communities and                                                               
that law  enforcement does not  exist in many villages.  She said                                                               
telling someone  that sexual  assault has  happened is  very hard                                                               
and  she wanted  to honor  the  victims, as  survivors, who  come                                                               
forward to  allow them to  seek justice. She  expressed gratitude                                                               
to  the committee  for putting  this bill  forward since  it will                                                               
tighten up  loopholes. In addition,  she thanked  the legislature                                                               
for  its focus  on  this human  rights issue.  Not  only does  it                                                               
affect  the  Bering Strait  Region,  but  it affects  the  entire                                                               
state, so she is glad the  state has taken strides to make Alaska                                                               
a safer place. This issue  extends nationally and internationally                                                               
to  give  resources to  enforce  the  laws.  As the  state  moves                                                               
forward to tighten up loopholes,  it is also important to provide                                                               
the resources  necessary to  enforce the  laws. The  region needs                                                               
more public  safety, including Alaska State  Troopers and Village                                                               
Public Safety Officers (VPSO) in rural areas.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES thanked her for sharing her perspective.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:20:49 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD  thanked her  for her  advocacy and  activism in                                                               
her  community. She  acknowledged  the high  incidence of  sexual                                                               
assault  in her  area. She  asked  for clarification  if she  was                                                               
saying her area has more unreported sexual assault.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ELLANNA  answered  that  way   fewer  people  report  sexual                                                               
violence occurrences to public safety  officers than the national                                                               
rate.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:21:54 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD  solicited her  comments on how  the legislature                                                               
can make a difference.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  stated that written  testimony can be  submitted to                                                               
senate.judiciary@akleg.gov                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:22:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CARMEN  LOWRY, Executive  Director,  Alaska  Network on  Domestic                                                               
Violence  &  Sexual Assault  (ANDVSA),  echoed  that victims  and                                                               
survivors  are grateful  for the  leadership and  effort to  make                                                               
these  crimes so  much  more public.  One  testifier spoke  about                                                               
culture  and  how   laws  can  change  culture.   She  said  that                                                               
surrounding  sexual violence  is a  culture of  silence and  many                                                               
people think  this refers to  victims not speaking out,  but much                                                               
of it  is because  the rest of  the people do  not speak  out. It                                                               
could be teachers, parents, or  people in religious places who do                                                               
not speak out.  As policy makers and legislators speak  out, as a                                                               
survivor she  is grateful. She said  she hoped that as  Alaska is                                                               
creating  a safer  place it  may  result in  more reporting.  The                                                               
ANDVSA network  in very much  in support  of SB 12.  She directed                                                               
attention   to  Section   9,  previously   discussed,  that   the                                                               
prosecuting attorney  "shall make a reasonable  effort" to confer                                                               
with  the victim.  The ANDVSA  would  like to  see "a  reasonable                                                               
effort"  defined.  She expressed  an  interest  in ensuring  that                                                               
systems  are in  place for  victims to  be involved  in reporting                                                               
their experiences in a safe way.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MICCICHE  acknowledged  that  a legal  definition  of  a                                                               
"reasonable"  effort was  partially  explained  by Mr.  Skidmore.                                                               
This bill came about because of  Judge Michael Corey. It is not a                                                               
judge's  role to  push prosecutors  to  have a  greater level  of                                                               
input  from the  victim.  In  this particular  case  it may  have                                                               
resulted in  the victim  being willing to  step forward.  If that                                                               
had  happened perhaps  a more  substantial case  could have  been                                                               
made against  Justin Schneider and  he would be in  prison paying                                                               
for his crimes.  He explained that the crimes  were multiple even                                                               
if these  offenses were not  recognized in existing law.  He said                                                               
prosecutors  will reach  out, with  the goal  being to  encourage                                                               
victims to engage and participate  and help put offenders who are                                                               
guilty of  heinous crimes behind  bars for an  appropriate amount                                                               
of  time. He  acknowledged  in some  instances  the victims  will                                                               
accept the plea agreement because they  do not want to go through                                                               
the courtroom proceedings. The legislature  is not going to force                                                               
them to go through that process. That will be up to them.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:26:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES remarked  that prosecutors  consider it  as a  best                                                               
practice to keep victims informed,  but it has been inconsistent.                                                               
She asked Mr. Skidmore to indicate what reasonable effort means.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE answered  that reasonable is a  term used throughout                                                               
the law and in statute.  However, it is not specifically defined.                                                               
He stated that the DOL  would consider reasonable efforts to mean                                                               
reaching out  to the victim  by using contact information  in the                                                               
case file.  He said  in some instances,  additional steps  can be                                                               
made,  particularly  in more  egregious  cases,  to try  to  make                                                               
contact  with them  from a  last known  address, or  to go  to an                                                               
employer  to  attempt   to  contact  the  victim.   He  said  the                                                               
department would not  do that in every case, that  it would be an                                                               
exception. He  said that the  department emphasizes  getting good                                                               
contact  information and  tries  to stay  in  touch with  victims                                                               
throughout the process.  He envisioned that would  be the process                                                               
the department would use.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:28:22 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL  said that  he was very  interested in  Ms. Lowry's                                                               
perspective  and   recommendation  on  "reasonable   effort."  He                                                               
expressed concerns since the statute  indicates that a prosecutor                                                               
"has a  duty to confer"  with the victim.  He said he  is hearing                                                               
the  department indicate  it needs  good  contact information  to                                                               
meet "reasonable effort."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LOWRY said  that  a  connection with  the  local program  or                                                               
advocacy  service  provider can  help  to  bridge that  gap.  For                                                               
example, the  Anchorage area has advocates.  She suggested making                                                               
sure that the  network works with the prosecutor to  reach out to                                                               
the  victim. She  said  that making  sure  that victim  advocates                                                               
understand  what   that  means   would  be  helpful   to  provide                                                               
additional support  to victims. She also  suggested ensuring that                                                               
the victim  knows what  is entailed  if the  victim talks  to the                                                               
prosecutor.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:30:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES asked whether the  department would develop internal                                                               
policies that might  include victim advocacy groups  who may have                                                               
contact information for the victim.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE said  that the Department of  Law's practice already                                                               
includes  reaching out  to victim  advocacy  groups and  shelters                                                               
when it is known that the  victim has sought out their assistance                                                               
and services.  He said  that is  certainly one  of the  steps the                                                               
department  would try  to undertake  and is  part of  the typical                                                               
contact  information the  department acquires.  In addition,  the                                                               
department may have  a personal cell phone,  e-mail address, home                                                               
or work phone,  or advocacy shelter phone number.  This all falls                                                               
within  the  gamut of  what  would  be considered  as  reasonable                                                               
steps. These are all steps  the Department of Law currently tries                                                               
to  undertake.  He  said  this language  would  just  provide  an                                                               
additional  incentive  to  require  the department,  by  law,  to                                                               
record the information in the department's files.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:31:58 PM                                                                                                                    
JANELLE MANCHESTER,  representing herself, Fairbanks,  stated her                                                               
support for  SB 12 as  it closes  the loopholes related  to semen                                                               
and  strangulation.  She  said   that  she  appreciates  that  it                                                               
increases sentences for all  assaults that involve strangulation,                                                               
and it disallows time spent  on electronic monitoring counting as                                                               
compliance credit.  She also supports that  prosecutors must make                                                               
a reasonable effort to consult with victims.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:33:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES, after  first determining no one  wished to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony on SB 12.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:33:15 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD  moved to report  the committee  substitute (CS)                                                               
for SSSB  12, work order  31-LS0263\0, referred to as  Version O,                                                               
from  committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  attached                                                               
fiscal note(s).                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE  objected. He said  he appreciated the  time the                                                               
committee spent on  this bill since some  things were overlooked.                                                               
One  was   the  required  interaction  [with   victims]  on  plea                                                               
agreements.   Another  consideration   was   the  discussion   of                                                               
increasing  penalties for  strangulation in  the commission  of a                                                               
sex crime.  This bill has  identified and remedied  the loopholes                                                               
in  the Justin  Schneider  case and  that is  what  this bill  is                                                               
about. The  public was  appalled at  the outcome,  as was  he. He                                                               
recapped  the bill,  that  it  redefines a  sex  crime by  adding                                                               
unwanted contact  with semen. It  would require registering  as a                                                               
sex offender  for the offenses  that Justin  Schneider committed.                                                               
It would  increase penalties for strangulation  in the commission                                                               
of a  sex crime  and no  longer allows credit  for time  spent on                                                               
electronic  monitoring.  Finally,  it requires  that  prosecutors                                                               
consult with victims for plea agreements.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:35:10 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD  said this  is one step,  but an  important one.                                                               
She  said that  a  judge did  not get  reelected  because of  the                                                               
fallout from loopholes  in the law. She  thanked Senator Micciche                                                               
for bringing this forward. She  appreciated having changes to the                                                               
bill presented  as individual amendments.  She said that  she can                                                               
support the committee  substitute. She hoped to  continue to work                                                               
on this issue and strengthen criminal laws.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:36:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES thanked  the sponsor for bringing  this forward. She                                                               
thanked Judge Corey because he  brought Section 9 to the sponsor,                                                               
which is  an important  addition. She  also thanked  the governor                                                               
and the Department  of Law for their support and  efforts to make                                                               
this a  solid bill. She  said the  committee took time  to ensure                                                               
the  issues were  addressed. She  said  she is  pleased with  the                                                               
committee  substitute. She  said one  of the  ways this  bill can                                                               
help make  communities safer is  that it provides  information to                                                               
the public that  perpetrators will be held  accountable for their                                                               
crimes.  She offered  her belief  that  the reporting  statistics                                                               
will improve as a result.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:37:42 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE removed his objection.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
There  being no  further objection,  CSSSSB 12(JUD)  was reported                                                               
from the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SJUD Agenda 3.4.19.pdf SJUD 3/4/2019 1:30:00 PM
CSSSSB12 Version O.pdf SJUD 3/4/2019 1:30:00 PM
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
CSSSSB 12 Sectional Summary Version O.pdf SJUD 3/4/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 12
Amendment 1 to CSSSSB12 - Kiehl.pdf SJUD 3/4/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 12
SB 34
CSSB 34 Version U.PDF SJUD 3/4/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 34
SB 34 Transmittal Letter.pdf SJUD 3/4/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 34
SB 34 - Probation and Parole Sectional.pdf SJUD 3/4/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 34
SB 34 Explanation of Changes.pdf SJUD 3/4/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 34
SB 34 Highlights.pdf SJUD 3/4/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 34