Breaking: Reimposing sentences for crimes to be part of special session - Must Read Alaska
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Breaking: Reimposing sentences for crimes to be part of special session

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Gov. Walker today placed a rollback of provisions of SB 91 onto the call of his October special session.

For first-time offenders, who now don’t get any jail time for many second-time theft offenses, it will allow for five-year jail time. For Class C felonies, it would be up to one year.

“These are minor tweaks to SB 91,” said Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth, saying that unintended consequences include an increase in crime across the state.

In a press conference today, Walker, Lindemuth, and other public officials claimed that SB 91 has led to  a crime spree. SB 54 returns the power to prosecutors, law enforcement, and judges, the Walker Administration said.

“For law enforcement and officers we’re seeing a lot more crime,” Lindemuth said, adding that the opioid crisis is stressing state resources. “SB 54 returns tools to prosecutors, law enforcement, and judges that was one of the unintended consequences.”

However, there was no explanation offered about how such “minor tweaks” would actually reduce crime in Alaska.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Most cops, other peace officers, and most of the public were against SB 91. At the same time Walker and his then Atty Gen thought it was a good thing then. Now, however, the Governor, who not so long ago told everyone that he was going to be a one term guy, but has decided to go for a second term, thinks SB is not such a good thing. His disingenuous change of heart is transparent to the point of being laughable. Every critic of SB pointed out the problems that would occur. There are no unseen consequences.

    • I remember a judge at a sentencing for multiple counts of child sexual abuse asking the defendant’s shrink, who was urging that the Defendant was already on his way to be rehabilitated, if he could guarantee that the defendant would not reoffend. The shrink said that in his professional opinion he would not reoffend, but that he, of course, could not guarantee it.
      The judge responded by saying ” Well, I can! He sentenced the man to sentences that would exceed the rest of the guys life.
      That is the kind of discretion judges need.

  • Here is the explanation on how the roll back will reduce crime: 1. The prospect of jail time will act as a deterrent. “Hey, if I smash this window and steal this car I’ll go to jail for a year.” 2. Those that make the wrong decision will be in jail, not out stealing more cars. See? Pretty simple explanation!

    • While it seems logical that harsher sentencing would deter crime, almost all studies of this issue in the last half century do not support that conclusion. Your second point is much more valid, but does help solve the root causes of recidivism, or criminal activity in the first place.

  • When I was young, and as more than a few Troopers have described as “out of control”, the thought of jail time didn’t put much fear in me at all. However it always amazed me my different outlook on my behavior after about three weeks with no drugs or alcohol in my brain. I would look back and think, what the hell was I thinking?. Then I’d get it in my mind how much time I had to do and do it. In the couple years I would be in prison an untold number of felonies were not being committed. So take what you wish from some inside baseball

    • Thank you for your candor. Did the “rehab” period stick? Was transition to normal life successful/easy?

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