Lesser Included Offenses In Alaska

Lesser-included offenses are governed by Alaska Criminal Rule 31(c), which provides: Conviction of Lesser Offense. the defendant may be found guilty of an offense necessarily included in the offense charged, or of an attempt to commit either the offense charged or the offense necessarily included therein if the attempt is an offense. When it appears that the defendant has committed a crime, and there is reasonable ground of doubt in which of two or more degrees the defendant is guilty, the defendant can be convicted of the lowest of those degrees only. The Alaska Supreme Court has adopted the cognate approach to lesser- included offenses. See Elisovsky v. State, 592 P.2d 1221, 1225-26 (Alaska 1979). An offense is a lesser-included offense under the cognate approach if, under the factual allegations against the defendant, it would be impossible for the defendant to have committed the charged crime without also having committed the lesser offense. See Hansen v. State, 845 P.2d 449, 453 n.1 (Alaska App. 1993).