Organizers read the names of black and brown lives lost to police violence. They also spoke about long-standing race issues in Juneau, namely in public education and the state criminal justice system.
The compromise bill, which repeals a controversial criminal justice reform law passed in 2016, would lead to longer criminal sentences. The Alaska Legislature plans to take it up next week.
The Senate Finance Committee passed House Bill 49 on Sunday after adding elements of a criminal justice package proposed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy.
At a Monday news conference, Gov. Mike Dunleavy again suggested he could order Alaska state lawmakers into a special session unless they start advancing his batch of criminal justice bills.
How a UAS associate professor and a Juneau police officer went from adversaries to allies on the criminal justice reform debate.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy is proposing bills that would repeal most of what’s left of the criminal justice overhaul enacted three years ago.
Quinlan Steiner, the Alaska public defender, said judges have a history of making decisions that had little to do with whether or not people were likely to show up for their court hearings.
Under the Senate’s amendment, judges would be able to order bail for all defendants. The change isn’t final; it’s up to the House to accept or reject, possibly sending it to conference committee.
The state has created an entirely new Pretrial Enforcement Division. Its 60 officers are responsible for monitoring defendants’ compliance with their conditions of release.
After a series of contentious votes on amendments, 32 House members voted for Senate Bill 54, while eight voted against it early Tuesday morning.