"An Act relating to bail review; relating to petitions for review by crime victims where the defendant has received a sentence below the sentencing range for the crime; relating to the qualifications of certain members of the Violent Crimes Compensation Board; relating to the introduction of the victim and the defendant or minor to the jury; amending Rule 27, Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedures, and Rule 21, Alaska Delinquency Rules; and providing for an effective date. "
"HB 54 establishes three requirements designed to alleviate calendaring strain on the court system and the district attorney's office while also protecting crime victims' rights and reducing same day notice of hearings."
- Rep. Samuels
Current Alaska law says that a person charged with an unclassified crime or a class A felony may make an application to the court to review the bail conditions and argue for reductions for the amount of bail every 24 hours without limitation. This poses logistical problems for all parties involved, given the short amount of time to prepare for each new bail hearing.
HB 54 establishes three requirements designed to alleviate calendaring strain on the court system and the district attorney's office while also protecting crime victims' rights and reducing same day notice of hearings. First, in order to calendar a subsequent bail hearing, the accused must submit in writing, that there exists new information for the court's consideration that was not considered at prior bail hearings. Second, the district attorney is given 48 hours notice in which to notify the victim of the hearing. Finally, hearings may not be set everyday; rather there will be a 48-hour period between calendared bail hearings. These provisions balance the rights of the accused with the rights of crime victims and accommodate for the schedules of both the district attorney's office and the court system.
HB 54 also outlines by statute that a victim may be introduced to a jury during the opening statement at a trial or during the jury selection process. This is to ensure that the courts recognize the right of the prosecution to introduce the victim at the appropriate time. The bill, if passed, would cause indirect court rule changes to Rule 27, Criminal Procedure and Rule 21, Delinquency Rules.