State lawmakers are moving forward with sweeping criminal justice reforms, albeit with some amendments, according to KTUU News. Senate Bill 91, which would reduce sentences for many nonviolent criminal offenses, reduce the population of pretrial inmates and focus on programs that prevent recidivism, is largely designed to tackle the problem of Alaska's increasingly crowded and costly prison system.
The 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution (and the Alaska counterpart) provides every Alaskan with the right to remain silent when being questioned by police. Our schools and colleges teach us we have that right, but not how to exercise it. The time to exercise it is when you are confronted by a police officer anywhere.
In recent decades, DNA testing has helped exonerate hundreds of innocent people who were convicted of crimes they did not commit. According to Scientific American, 73 percent of overturned convictions originally rested on eyewitness testimony, with about a third of them being based on multiple eyewitnesses.
The Anchorage Police Department (APD) rang in 2014 with extra drunk driving patrols. Just before midnight on New Year's Eve, local police fielded ten officers, who responded to drunk driving enforcement. This year, the Alaska Highway Safety Office gave the APD extra funding for these efforts.
If you have been arrested for DUI, a property crime or any type of criminal offense, it might seem like the overbearing power of the system has you locked into a predetermined outcome. It is true that the state brings to bear many powerful resources in investigating and prosecuting criminal cases.
There are many people in Alaska who have been arrested for DUI. They may have not realized that they were close to the legal limit, yet found themselves in serious trouble after being stopped by law enforcement. In some situations, these individuals decided to plead guilty to the charges because they wanted to put the matter behind them as quickly as possible.
Alaska reality television show star Jim V. West has been charged with several hunting violations in the Glennallen District Court. The hunter is the star of television show "Wild West Alaska," which is on the Animal Planet Network. He faces criminal allegations for unlawful bear hunting actions.
Even though marijuana is now legal in Alaska for recreational purposes, it does not mean it is also legal to get behind the wheel after using the drug. In fact, Alaska law expressly states that a person may be convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) if he or she operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance, including marijuana.
Our privilege to drive in Alaska is one of our most important rights. Often, our livelihoods, ability to get medical treatment, or even to school or college depends on our ability to drive a motor vehicle. Public transportation in Anchorage and Alaska often does not suit our needs.
Drunk driving is a serious issue in Alaska. Despite authorities' efforts, the problem seems to persist. For some individuals, charges do, too.