New Laws Provide More Weapons
for Fighting Crime;
State Operating Budget Provides Funding for More State Prosecutors
May 15, 2004
Juneau, AK - On the final day of the Alaska legislative
session, state lawmakers passed comprehensive legislation introduced
by Governor Frank Murkowski to bolster the state's ability to
wage war on crime. Senate Bill 170 and House Bill 309 together
provide support to communities that choose to reduce alcohol,
recognize victims and work to keep them safe, include provisions
to make dangerous criminals think twice, provide greater protection
from juvenile offenders and strengthen our drunk driving laws.
In addition to making improvements in the law, the legislature
increased funding for state prosecutors.
"I promised the people
of Alaska that public safety would be a top priority for my administration,"
said the Governor. "A two-year effort led by Attorney General
Gregg Renkes has produced much needed crime legislation and increased
funding to match my administration's commitment to the Alaska
State Troopers and law enforcement. "I congratulate the
legislative leadership for its hard work and dedication in this
"I'm responsible for state
prosecution in Alaska, and I know that having the legal tools
and the resources needed to prosecute crimes is absolutely essential,"
said Renkes. "We made our case to the legislature, and for
the first time in eight years the executive branch of state government
has pushed forward a comprehensive plan to strengthen our existing
criminal laws and increase the state's prosecution budget."
309, which encompass the Governor's crime package, provide
additional tools to law enforcement including:
- Recognizing and allowing communities
to adopt lower limits for alcohol possession and importation
as part of the local option system
- Strengthening bootlegging
statutes; mandating forfeiture of vehicles used in bootlegging
- Requiring judges to impose
some consecutive jail time when the offender has been convicted
of hurting more than one victim or one victim more than once
- Prohibiting the use of self-defense
by individuals who come armed to a felony drug deal or while
engaging in felony gang activity
Making it a misdemeanor for
third-party custodians who put victims at risk by failing to
notify the police when a defendant released to their custody
violates court conditions and
Making it a felony offense to drive under the influence within
ten years of having been previously convicted of felony Driving
Under the Influence.
"I want to thank Governor
Murkowski for making the crime bill an administration priority,"
said Renkes. "I thank the legislature for supporting this
effort. Most importantly I wish to thank a number of people from
the criminal division of the department of law for pushing this
legislation with the same tenacity and common sense that they
routinely use in the prosecution of crime throughout the state."
Source of News Release:
Alaska Department of Law
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