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Alaska v. Summerville (11/14/97), 948 P 2d 469
Notice: This opinion is subject to formal correction before
publication in the Pacific Reporter. Readers are requested to bring errors to the
attention of the Clerk of the Appellate Courts, 303 K Street, Anchorage, Alaska
99501, phone (907) 264-0608, fax (907) 264-0878.
THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ALASKA
STATE OF ALASKA, ) Supreme Court No. S-7869
Petitioner, ) Court of Appeals No. A-6422
) Superior Court No.
v. ) 4FA-S96-564 Cr.
DAVID E. SUMMERVILLE, ) O P I N I O N
______________________________) [No. 4904 - November 14, 1997]
Petition for Hearing from the Court of Appeals
of the State of Alaska, on Appeal from the Superior Court, Fourth
Judicial District, Fairbanks, Richard D. Savell, Judge.
Appearances: Eric A. Johnson, Assistant
Attorney General, Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals,
Anchorage, and Bruce M. Botelho, Attorney General, Juneau, for
Petitioner. William R. Satterberg, Jr., Law Offices of William R.
Satterberg, Jr., Fairbanks, for Respondent. Marcia E. Holland,
Assistant Public Defender, Fairbanks, and Barbara K. Brink, Public
Defender, Anchorage, for Amicus Curiae Alaska Public Defender
Agency. James H. McComas, Pro Bono Counsel, Anchorage, for Amicus
Curiae Office of Public Advocacy.
Before: Matthews, Chief Justice, Compton,
Eastaugh, and Fabe, Justices. [Bryner, Justice, not participating.]
The decision in this case is controlled by Scott v.
State, 519 P.2d 774 (Alaska 1974), unless we are persuaded to
overrule Scott. In State v. Dunlop, 721 P.2d 604 (Alaska 1986), we
We do not lightly overrule our past
decisions. . . . [I]t is a "salutory policy to follow past
decisions.". . . [W]here we are "clearly convinced the rule was
originally erroneous or is no longer sound because of changed
conditions, and that more good than harm would result from a
departure from precedent,"we will so depart.
Id. at 610 (footnote omitted) (quoting State v. Souter, 606 P.2d
399, 400 (Alaska 1980)). We are not persuaded that these standards
are met, at least with respect to Scott's holding that the
production of the names of non-alibi witnesses and their statements
cannot be constitutionally compelled. Because the reciprocal
discovery provisions enacted in section 1 of Chapter 95 SLA 1996
are non-severable, and at least one of those provisions violates
article I, section 9 of Alaska's constitution, the entire section
is invalid. The pre-existing version of Alaska Criminal Rule 16
must remain in effect. AFFIRMED.