Alaska Crime Bill Tackles a Glacier of Criminal Defense Issues

Criminal defense encompasses a wide variety of different aspects of the law, and a sweeping Alaska crime bill that is waiting a signature from Governor Sarah Palin is a perfect example of this point.

State Representative Ralph Samuels initially sponsored a proposed crime law that addressed bail hearings in the state. Before he knew it, sweeping bipartisan fervor extended the bill to a wide variety of areas on the criminal defense spectrum.

Whether it’s tackling traffic crimes like DUI, addressing DNA testing for violent crimes and even misdemeanors, or bolstering the stipulations concerning sex crimes, this new and improved Alaska crime bill has fostered excitement in Samuels, who was described in an Anchorage Daily News story as saying that this crime package could have the most immediate impact for people in the state.

Here’s what this sweeping Alaska crime bill would address:

  • DNA Testing. This Alaska crime bill contains a DNA clause that allows law enforcement officials in the state to collect DNA samples from adults arrested on felony charges or even a misdemeanor. The call for this DNA clause came after a 13-year-old murder case involving an Anchorage teenager was recently solved due to the matching of a semen sample found on the girl’s body with a national DNA database which linked the murderer to a man sitting in a New Hampshire jail. Under this aspect of the proposed Alaska crime law, a person who submitted his DNA and was later exonerated would be removed from the DNA database.
  • DUI. This Alaska crime bill would make it much harder for DUI offenders who are prohibited from consuming alcohol during their sentencing, parole or probation from doing so. How would this crime package achieve this effect? By specially marking the driver’s license and/or state identification card of these types of Alaska DUI offenders. This special designation would be removed once an Alaska DUI offender complete the terms of his or her parole or probation..
  • Sex Crimes. This proposed Alaska crime law would charge any sex offender who violated his or her probation or parole with a misdemeanor. It would also tighten the law concerning adults who distribute inducement materials depicting adults to minors. Specifically, this aspect of the crime package would make any adult who is found guilty of doing this register himself or herself as a sex offender.
  • Prison Time. This legislation would not allow time served while in a halfway house, treatment program or electronic monitoring as counting towards one’s prison term.