Lawmakers Consider FASD Legislation

A bill that would allow judges to consider FASD as a mitigating factor in criminal sentencing had a hearing in the Senate Finance Committee yesterday (Monday).

FASD stands for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. It refers to the range of conditions experienced by children whose mothers drank alcohol while pregnant. Many of the disorders can impair brain function, including how the person with FASD uses judgment and processes information.

Senate Bill 151 gives judges the option of considering FASD as a mitigating factor if it’s clear the defendant’s condition significantly affected their conduct. But Anchorage Republican Kevin Meyer – the bill’s sponsor – says it’s not a get out of jail free card for people with FASD.

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Casey Kelly is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.