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Rantala v State (9/18/2009) ap-2236

Rantala v State (9/18/2009) ap-2236

                             NOTICE
     The  text  of this opinion can be corrected before  the
     opinion  is published in the Pacific Reporter.  Readers
     are  encouraged to bring typographical or other  formal
     errors  to  the attention of the Clerk of the Appellate
     Courts:

             303 K Street, Anchorage, Alaska  99501
                      Fax:  (907) 264-0878
       E-mail:  corrections@appellate.courts.state.ak.us

         IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE STATE OF ALASKA


JOHN TODD RANTALA,                 
                                   
                    Appellant,          Court  of Appeals No.  A-
                                   9769
               v.                            Trial Court No. 3HO-
                                   04-140 Cr
STATE OF ALASKA,                   
                                   
                    Appellee.                      O  P  I  N   I
End of Caption                     O  N
                                   
                                    No. 2236    September 18, 2009
                                   
          Appeal  from the Superior Court,  Third  Judi
          cial District, Homer, Harold M. Brown, Judge.

          Appearances:    Marjorie  Allard,   Assistant
          Public  Defender, and Quinlan Steiner, Public
          Defender,   Anchorage,  for  the   Appellant.
          Blair   M.  Christensen,  Assistant  Attorney
          General,  Office of Special Prosecutions  and
          Appeals,  Anchorage, and  Talis  J.  Colberg,
          Attorney General, Juneau, for the Appellee.

          Before:   Coats, Chief Judge, and  Mannheimer
          and Bolger, Judges.

          MANNHEIMER, Judge.
          BOLGER, Judge, dissenting in part.

          John  Todd  Rantala appeals his conviction for  witness
tampering.1    This   charge  was  based   on   three   telephone
conversations  between  Rantala and his domestic  partner,  Terri
Mischler.   Rantala,  who was in jail on a  charge  of  burglary,
telephoned  Mischler three times on the day before  his  burglary
case  was  scheduled to come before the grand  jury.   The  State
alleged,  and  the  trial  jury found, that  during  these  three
telephone conversations Rantala attempted to induce [Mischler] to
testify  falsely, [or] offer misleading testimony, or  unlawfully
withhold testimony at the grand jury proceeding.
          Rantala  was  originally charged  with  three  separate
counts  of  witness tampering, one count for each  of  the  three
telephone  conversations.   His  trial  on  these  charges  ended
without  a decision, after the jury declared themselves  hung  on
all  three  counts  and Rantalas attorney requested  a  mistrial.
Eight  months  later,  the State filed a superseding  information
which   contained  a  single,  consolidated  charge  of   witness
tampering  based  on  all  three  telephone  conversations.    At
Rantalas  second  trial,  he was convicted  of  this  superseding
count.
          In  the  present appeal, Rantala claims that the  trial
judge  at  his  first trial engaged in misconduct, and  that  the
judges  actions  misled  the  defense  attorney  into  seeking  a
mistrial.   Based on the assertion that his attorney  was  misled
about  the need for, or the advisability of, a mistrial,  Rantala
argues  that  the double jeopardy clause barred  the  State  from
          bringing him to trial a second time for witness tampering.
          Rantala  also  argues in this appeal that the  evidence
presented at his trial was legally insufficient to establish  the
crime of witness tampering.
          As  we  explain more fully in this opinion,  we  reject
Rantalas  double jeopardy claim.  However, we also conclude  that
the evidence presented at Rantalas trial, even when viewed in the
light most favorable to the jurys verdict, is insufficient  as  a
matter of law to support a conviction for witness tampering.   We
must therefore reverse Rantalas conviction.

Rantalas double jeopardy claim

          As  we  noted  earlier, Rantalas first  trial
ended  in a mistrial after the jurors returned to court
and  announced that they were hung on all three counts.
In  a  note that the foreman handed to the trial  judge
when  the jurors came back to the courtroom, the jurors
gave  the  following breakdown of their  position:   on
Count I, they were split 6 to 6; on Count II, they were
split 6 for conviction, 3 for acquittal (with 3 apparently undecided); and on Count III, they were split 9 for conviction and 3 for acquittal.
Based on this information, both the prosecutor and the defense attorney agreed that the jurors would be unable to reach any verdicts, and the defense attorney requested a mistrial. The trial judge, Superior Court Judge Harold M. Brown, granted this request.
However, a few minutes before the jury returned to court and told Judge Brown that they were unable to reach a verdict on any of the three counts, the jury took an action that was seemingly inconsistent with their later declaration that they were hung: they sent the judge a completed verdict form on one of the counts (Count I). This verdict form declared that the jurors had found Rantala Not Guilty on Count I.
Judge Brown notified the parties that he had received this completed verdict form, and that this form apparently contained the jurys verdict on Count I, but Judge Brown did not tell the parties what that verdict was. Instead, the judge told the parties that he intended to send the verdict form back to the jury, with an instruction that the jurors should submit their verdicts on all three counts at the same time.
The prosecutor immediately responded, I agree. Rantalas attorneys only response was to point out that it was ten minutes before 9:00 p.m., the time at which Judge Brown intended to let the jurors go home for the night.
There was a pause in the proceedings while Judge Brown composed his note to the jurors. When the judge was finished, he read the note aloud to the two attorneys. Neither attorney objected to (or even commented on) what the judge had written. Judge Brown then sent the following note to the jury:
Jurors: I am returning the verdict form to you. I have not announced your verdict to the parties. You should return your verdict on all counts at the same time. I will ask you as a group to come back into court at 9 p.m. to consider whether it would be fruitful to continue deliberations tonight or whether we should return at 9 a.m. tomorrow to continue deliberations.
This    note
     bears  the time 8:50 p.m., but the log  notes
     of  the  proceeding show that the court  went
     off-record  (assumedly,  so  that  this  note
     could  be  sent  to the jury) at  8:55  p.m..
     Just  under ten minutes later, at 9:04  p.m.,
     the  court reconvened with the jurors present
     in  the  courtroom.  At that time,  the  jury
     foreman  handed  Judge Brown the  note  which
     declared that the jurors were split along the
     lines  described  in the first  paragraph  of
     this  section.   We note, in particular,  the
     fact  that  the  jurors  declared  themselves
     split  6  to 6 on Count I  the very count  on
     which  the  jurors, seemingly,  had  been  in
     unanimous agreement only minutes before.
               Moreover     (as    Judge     Brown
     immediately  revealed to  the  parties),  the
     jury  foreman made a verbal comment  when  he
     handed  Judge  Brown the note that  contained
     the  breakdown of the jurors positions:   the
     foreman  told the judge that, in his opinion,
     the jury was hopelessly hung.
               When the prosecutor and the defense
     attorney were apprised of the jurys numerical
     breakdown, and of the foremans comment,  they
     agreed  that  it  was pointless  to  ask  the
     jurors to continue deliberating.  The defense
     attorney  then  moved for a  mistrial,  which
     Judge Brown granted.
          Two   weeks  later,  Rantala   (now
represented by a new attorney) filed a motion
in  which  he argued that, under  the  double
jeopardy clause, Count I had to be dismissed.
Rantala  asserted that Judge Brown  committed
error by failing to inform the parties of the
content  of  the jurys premature  verdict  on
Count  I   i.e.,  by failing  to  inform  the
parties that the jury had apparently voted to
acquit Rantala on this count.  Rantala argued
that  if his defense attorney had been  aware
of  the  apparent acquittal on Count  I,  the
defense   attorney  either  would  not   have
requested  a mistrial when the jury  returned
to  court  ten  minutes  later  and  declared
themselves  hung, or the defense attorney  at
least  would  have insisted  on  polling  the
jurors before he asked for the mistrial.
          Based  on  the foregoing  argument,
Rantala  asserted that his defense  attorneys
request  for a mistrial did not constitute  a
knowing  or  intelligent waiver  of  Rantalas
double jeopardy rights on Count I  and  that,
therefore, the State was barred from bringing
Rantala to trial again on Count I.
          Rantala  did not offer an affidavit
from  his trial attorney in support  of  this
motion,   nor  did  he  seek  an  evidentiary
hearing.   Judge  Brown  denied  the   motion
without comment.
          As  explained  above,  Rantala  was
later tried a second time  this time, on  the
single consolidated count  and the jury found
him guilty.
          On   appeal,  Rantala  renews   his
argument   that  Judge  Brown   should   have
apprised  the  parties that the jury  foreman
had  written  Not Guilty on the verdict  form
for  Count  I.   This time, however,  Rantala
argues  that  he  is entitled  to  more  than
simply  dismissal  of the  charge  in  former
Count  I  (the  charge  based  on  the  first
telephone conversation).  Rantala now  argues
that  he  is  entitled to  dismissal  of  the
entire  case,  and  to an order  barring  the
State from reinstituting the charges based on
the second and third telephone conversations.
          Rantalas   briefs  to  this   Court
present the argument that Judge Brown had  no
authority  to  reject what was  apparently  a
valid verdict on Count I.  According to  this
argument, Judge Brown was obligated to  enter
judgement on this verdict, even though it was
only a partial resolution of the charges, and
the  judge therefore acted illegally when  he
sent  the  verdict form back to the jury  and
directed   the  jury  to  return  all   three
verdicts at the same time.  However, Rantalas
attorney  withdrew  this claim  at  the  oral
argument in this case.
          Rantalas  briefs  also  present  an
alternative argument that was not  raised  in
the  superior court:  the argument that  even
if  Judge Brown had the authority to ask  the
jurors to return their verdicts on all  three
counts  at the same time, the judges note  to
the  jury  was worded improperly   worded  in
such a way as to imply that the judge refused
to  accept  the jurors apparent  decision  on
Count I, and that the judge was ordering  the
jurors to reconsider that decision.
          We    reject    this    alternative
argument.  The text of Judge Browns note does
not  appear coercive on its face;  it  merely
informs  the  jurors that they should  return
all three of their verdicts at the same time.
Moreover,  as  we  explained  earlier,  Judge
Brown   read   the  content  of  this   note,
verbatim, to the two attorneys before he sent
the  note  to the jury, and Rantalas  defense
attorney  had  no  objection  to  either  the
substantive  content of the note  or  to  the
judges  wording.   Judge Brown  committed  no
error,   much  less  plain  error,  when   he
composed this note and sent it to the jury.
          This  leaves  Rantalas last  claim:
that Judge Brown, by failing to disclose  the
content  of  the  verdict form  on  Count  I,
unlawfully  misled Rantalas defense  attorney
about  the  status of the jurys deliberations
thus  preventing  the defense  attorney  from
making an informed decision about whether  to
seek a mistrial when, ten minutes later,  the
jury  announced  that  they  were  hopelessly
divided on all three counts.
          We  reject this argument because it
is  not supported by the record.  There is no
indication  that  the  defense  attorney  was
misled.
          The  defense attorney knew that the
jurors  declared themselves unable to  decide
Rantalas  case.  In particular,  the  defense
attorney   knew  that  the  jurors   declared
themselves  split 6 to 6  on  Count  I.   The
defense  attorney also knew that, ten minutes
before  the  jurors  returned  to  court  and
announced themselves deadlocked, the jury had
sent   Judge  Brown  a  verdict   form   that
apparently  contained the  jurys  verdict  on
this  same count.  The defense attorney  knew
this because, as soon as Judge Brown received
the  verdict form, he announced this fact  in
open court.
          The defense attorney also knew what
had  happened to that verdict:  he was  aware
of  (and apparently approved of) Judge Browns
decision  to return the verdict form  to  the
jurors,  accompanied by an  instruction  that
they  should  return their  verdicts  on  all
three counts at the same time.
          Generally,  litigants  waive  their
right to challenge a verdict procedure unless
they raise their objection before the jury is
discharged.2   If  Rantalas  trial   attorney
thought that he needed to know the content of
the verdict form before he decided whether to
seek  a  mistrial, he could have asked  Judge
Brown    to    reveal    that    information.
Alternatively,  the  defense  attorney  could
have  requested Judge Brown to ask the jurors
why  they now declared themselves hung  when,
only  minutes  before, they  had  returned  a
verdict on one of the counts.
          But  the defense attorney chose not
to  pursue this matter in either of the  ways
suggested in the preceding paragraph,  or  in
any  other  fashion.  Instead, he  pronounced
himself  satisfied that the  jury  was  truly
deadlocked, and he asked for a mistrial.
          On appeal, Rantala implies that his
trial  attorney acted incompetently  when  he
asked Judge Brown to declare a mistrial  even
though  he  did not know the content  of  the
verdict  form.   According to  Rantala,  this
information  was  crucial  to  any   informed
decision on the matter of a mistrial.
          An  attorneys  decision  to  ask  a
trial   judge   to  declare  a  mistrial   is
obviously  a  tactical  decision.   The   law
presumes  that  an  attorneys  decisions  are
competent,  and  that they are  motivated  by
sound tactical considerations.3  Thus, it  is
Rantalas  burden  to affirmatively  establish
that no competent defense attorney would have
decided  to  seek a mistrial without  knowing
the   content  of  the  previously  submitted
verdict form.
          As  we  noted earlier, Rantala  has
not  offered  an  affidavit  from  his  trial
attorney,  or any other evidence, to  support
the assertion that his attorney was misled or
that  his  attorney was otherwise  unable  to
make  a competent tactical decision regarding
whether to request a mistrial.  Rantala rests
his  claim solely on the record of the  trial
proceedings.
          That  record  does not  address  or
explain   the   defense  attorneys   tactical
analysis of the situation.  Moreover, it  was
not   patently   incompetent   for   Rantalas
attorney   to   seek  a  mistrial   in   this
situation.   Accordingly, Rantala  failed  to
rebut the presumption that his attorney acted
          competently when he asked for a mistrial.
          For   these   reasons,  we   reject
Rantalas claim that his second trial was held
in violation of the double jeopardy clause.

The  sufficiency  of the evidence to  support  Rantalas
conviction for witness tampering

          At  Rantalas second trial (the trial that led
to  the  judgement  that  Rantala  challenges  in  this
appeal), the prosecution and the defense each presented
one  witness.  The prosecution presented the  testimony
of  the state trooper who arrested Rantala for burglary
and   who  later  obtained  the  search  warrant   that
authorized  the seizure of the recordings  of  Rantalas
three telephone calls to Terri Mischler from jail.  The
defense  presented  the  testimony  of  Mischler,   who
asserted  that  Rantala  never  asked  her  to  testify
falsely or to withhold testimony.  However, the primary
evidence  in  the  case  was the audio  recordings  and
accompanying  transcripts of Rantalas  three  telephone
calls to Mischler.
          Here  is  the  factual  background  of  these
telephone calls:  Rantala and Mischler had been  living
together,  along  with Mischlers two  children  from  a
prior relationship.  Rantala moved out of the residence
after the state Office of Childrens Services obtained a
restraining   order   that  prohibited   Rantala   from
contacting  Mischlers two children.   This  restraining
order was issued in November 2003, and it was valid for
the next six months  in other words, until May 2004.
          On   March  12,  2004,  Rantala  returned  to
Mischlers  house.   When Mischler refused  to  let  him
inside,  Rantala  entered through a  window.   Mischler
took  her  two children to a friends house,  where  she
called  the state troopers.  The trooper who  responded
to  the scene found Rantala hiding underneath Mischlers
house;  the  trooper  had to use pepper  spray  to  get
Rantala  to surrender.  Based on this incident, Rantala
was  arrested and charged with burglary (a  felony)  as
well as six misdemeanors.
          Rantalas burglary charge was scheduled to  be
heard  by  the  grand jury on March 19, 2004.   Rantala
called  Mischler from jail three times on  March  18th:
one  call at 9:32 in the morning, another at 10:16, and
a  third  at  1:25 in the afternoon.  All  told,  these
three  phone  calls comprise 36 minutes of conversation
between Rantala and Mischler.
          In  each of these conversations, Rantala  and
Mischler  discussed the impending grand  jury  hearing.
Rantala  told Mischler that, even though he broke  into
her  house,  he  was not a bad person and  he  did  not
deserve to be convicted of a felony (i.e., the burglary
charge).   Rantala  repeatedly  appealed  to  Mischlers
sympathies,  urging  her  not  to  cooperate  with  the
authorities  in their attempts to pursue  the  burglary
charge.
          Standing  alone,  these  statements  do   not
constitute the crime of witness tampering as defined in
AS  11.56.540(a)(1).  Under this statute, the State was
required  to  prove  that Rantala attempted  to  induce
Mischler  to  testify falsely, or to  offer  misleading
testimony, or to unlawfully withhold testimony  at  the
grand jury proceeding.
          During  the States summation to the  jury  at
Rantalas  trial, the prosecutor asserted  that  Rantala
violated  this  statute when he  said  three  different
things  to Mischler during the telephone conversations.
On  appeal, the State again relies on these same  three
statements as constituting the actus reus of the crime.
          The State first asserts that Rantala violated
the  witness tampering statute when, during his  second
conversation with Mischler, he told Mischler  that  she
did  not have to testify against him at all if she  had
not been subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury:
     
          Rantala:  Did they subpoena you?
     
          Mischler:  No.
     
          Rantala:  Then you dont even have to say
     anything to them.

     [Rantala and Mischler then engage  in  a
discussion about what the Office of Childrens
Services  was  likely to do if  they  learned
that  Mischler  was  not cooperating  in  the
prosecution of Rantala.]

     Rantala:   Thats  why  you  should  have
never called the Troopers.

     Mischler:  Well, you know what?  I  did.
All  right?  So dont sit [t]here and say, You
shouldnt  have  done this  or  shouldnt  have
[done] that.  ...  All right?

     Rantala:  You still dont have to testify
in  front  of  the grand jury if  they  didnt
subpoena you.  You just tell them, No, I dont
have  anything to say.  That way,  they  wont
indict me [on] this.
     .  .  .

     Rantala:  You dont have to say anything.
Just say, I dont wish to testify.  They didnt
subpoena you; you dont have to testify.

          The  State asserts that, by  making
these  statements  to Mischler,  Rantala  was
attempting  to  induce Mischler  to  withhold
testimony  in violation of the statute.   But
contrary  to  the  States position,  Rantalas
statements  do not constitute  the  crime  of
witness tampering.
          The  witness tampering statute does
not  forbid  attempts to induce a witness  to
withhold  testimony.   Rather,  the   statute
forbids  attempts  to  induce  a  witness  to
unlawfully  withhold testimony.   It  is  not
unlawful  for a person to decline to  testify
if they have not been subpoenaed or otherwise
ordered  to  appear.  Therefore,  it  is  not
witness tampering to advise a person of  this
fact,  or  to encourage a person to  exercise
their  right  to decline to testify  if  they
have not been subpoenaed.
            The legislative commentary to  AS
11.56.540  addresses  the  related  issue  of
whether  it is witness tampering  to  try  to
convince  a prospective witness to avoid  the
service  of  a subpoena (so that the  witness
will  not  have to testify).  The  commentary
expressly declares that it is not a violation
of the witness tampering statute for a person
[to]  attempt to induce a prospective witness
to avoid process.  The commentary explains:

     While    AS    11.56.510   [i.e.,    the
Interference   with   Official    Proceedings
statute] makes it unlawful to use a bribe  or
threat  to  induce a witness to  avoid  legal
process, AS 11.56.540 does not bar an attempt
to  achieve  that objective by persuasion  or
argument.   A defense attorney, for  example,
would  not  be prohibited from attempting  by
persuasion or pleading to induce a witness to
avoid  [service  of] process by  leaving  the
state.

1978  Senate Journal, Supplement No. 47 (June
12), pp. 81-82.
          Based   on   this  commentary,   we
conclude  that  Rantala did not  violate  the
witness  tampering  statute  either  when  he
advised  Mischler that she did  not  have  to
testify before the grand jury if she had  not
been  subpoenaed, or when he  urged  Mischler
not to testify voluntarily.
          The State next asserts that Rantala
violated the witness tampering statute  when,
during his second conversation with Mischler,
he  urged  Mischler to tell  the  authorities
that   she   did  not  wish  to  pursue   the
prosecution against him:

     Rantala:   You could say, Well,  I  dont
even  want to pursue this.  And they cant  do
anything  about it.  Then I can go  to  court
...  [and]  plead  guilty  to  [the  related]
misdemeanors, and youll be out  of  it.   You
wont  have  to  deal with this anymore.   You
understand what I want, [what Im]  trying  to
do here?

          Again, the State asserts that  this
statement  was an attempt to induce  Mischler
to  unlawfully withhold testimony.   This  is
simply wrong.  In the above-quoted statement,
Rantala  did  not say anything about  whether
Mischler  should  testify.   Rather,  Rantala
asked   Mischler  to  tell  the   authorities
(whether she testified or not) that  she  did
not wish to pursue the case against Rantala.
          The  Supreme  Court  of  Washington
confronted  this  same  issue  in  State   v.
Rempel,  785  P.2d  1134 (Wash.  1990).   The
defendant   in   Rempel  was   arrested   for
attempting to rape a female acquaintance;  he
called  the  victim from jail  several  times
following  his arrest.4  During  these  phone
conversations, Rempel told the victim that he
was  sorry, that he would never do it  again,
and  that  the  rape charge  would  ruin  his
life.5   He repeatedly asked her to drop  the
charges.6
          Under Washingtons witness tampering
statute,  RCW  9A.72.120, it is  a  crime  to
induce  a  witness to testify falsely  or  to
unlawfully        withhold        testimony.7
Rempel  was prosecuted under the theory  that
he  violated this statute when he  asked  the
victim  to  drop the charges.  The Washington
Supreme Court held that, given the context of
Rempels  conversation with  the  victim,  his
statements  did  not (as  a  matter  of  law)
constitute witness tampering:

     [Rempels] words do not contain a request
to  withhold testimony.  ...  The words  drop
the  charges reflect a lay persons perception
that  the  complaining witness  can  cause  a
prosecution  to  be  discontinued.   [Rempel]
maintained  this  [false] belief  even  after
[the  victim] told him that she did not  have
any control over the matter.

     [We  acknowledge  that]  an  attempt  to
induce  a witness to withhold testimony  does
not  depend only upon the literal meaning  of
     the words used.  The State is entitled to
rely  on the inferential meaning of the words
and  the context in which they were used  ...
includ[ing]  the  prior relationship  between
[the  defendant] and [the witness], and  [the
witnesss] reaction to the [words].  [But the]
entire  context  [in this case]  negates  any
inference that [Rempels] request to drop  the
charge  was in fact an inducement to withhold
testimony from a later trial.
     .  .  .

     We  do not hold that the words drop  the
charges  [cannot] sustain a  conviction  [for
witness  tampering,] if uttered in a  factual
context  that  would  lead  to  a  reasonable
inference that the speaker actually attempted
to  induce a witness to [unlawfully] withhold
testimony.  Given the context here,  however,
we  conclude  that no such inference  can  be
drawn.    The   evidence  does  not   support
[Rempels] conviction.

Rempel, 785 P.2d at 1137.
          Rantalas statement to Mischler  was
analogous  to  the drop the  charges  request
made  by  the  defendant in Rempel.   Rantala
told  Mischler, You could say, Well,  I  dont
even  want to pursue this.  And they cant  do
anything  about  it.  Like the  defendant  in
Rempel, Rantala apparently believed that  the
burglary  prosecution could  not  go  forward
without Mischlers consent.
          But asking the victim of a crime to
tell  the  authorities, I dont even  want  to
pursue this [criminal prosecution] is not the
same  thing  as asking the victim to  testify
falsely  or to unlawfully withhold  testimony
if the victim is subpoenaed and called to the
stand.   There is no inconsistency between  a
victims publicly declaring that they  do  not
wish to see the defendant prosecuted, and the
victims honoring their duty to testify.
          Like  the Washington Supreme Court,
we do not say that Rantalas words to Mischler
(or  similar  words) could  never  sustain  a
conviction for witness tampering.  Sometimes,
the context of a conversation will add layers
of  meaning  that  would  not  ordinarily  be
present in the words themselves.
          See,  for instance, State v. Frank,
unpublished,  1999  WL  155946  (Wash.   App.
1999),  a  case in which a nine-year-old  boy
was  being  sexually abused by  his  parents.
The boys mother told him that he would go  to
jail  if  he kept on telling lies  or  making
stuff  up  about the abuse.8  The  Washington
Court  of Appeals held that, even though  the
mothers  words,  taken  literally,  were   an
admonition not to tell lies, the real  import
of  the  mothers words  given the context  of
the conversation and the relationship between
the  two  participants  was to communicate  a
threat whose purpose was to induce her son to
testify   falsely   or  unlawfully   withhold
testimony.9
          But  Rantalas words to Mischler  do
not   support  any  inference  of  a   hidden
subtext.   Like  the  defendant  in   Rempel,
Rantala  essentially asked Mischler  to  tell
the  authorities that she wanted to drop  the
burglary  charge.  This statement was  not  a
request,  or even a suggestion, that Mischler
lie   about   what  happened  or   that   she
unlawfully withhold testimony if the burglary
case  went forward and she was subpoenaed  to
testify.    Accordingly,  we  conclude   that
Rantala did not violate the witness tampering
statute   when  he  made  this   request   to
Mischler.
          Finally,  the  State  asserts  that
Rantala   violated   the  witness   tampering
statute  when,  during the second  and  third
phone  conversations, he  suggested  that  if
Mischler  decided  to testify  at  the  grand
jury, she should confine herself to yes or no
answers  and should not volunteer information
that  was  not  directly  solicited  by   the
prosecutors questions:

     Rantala:  Just say yes or no to them.
     .  .  .

     [W]hatever  you  do, dont  elaborate  on
anything.   If  youre going to say  anything,
just say yes or no.
     .  .  .

     Just  answer yes or no.  Dont go into  a
whole bunch of  if you do [testify], do that.

          The State asserts that when Rantala
advised Mischler to confine herself to yes or
no answers, and not to volunteer information,
he  was  in effect asking Mischler  to  offer
misleading   testimony   or   to   unlawfully
withhold  testimony.  The  State  offers  two
arguments  as  to  why  Rantalas  advice   to
Mischler constituted witness tampering.
          The  States first argument is  that
          Rantalas words, taken literally, constituted
a request that Mischler answer only yes or no
to any and all questions  even questions that
clearly   called   for  a  narrative   answer
(questions  such  as  What  happened  next?).
This  suggested  interpretation  of  Rantalas
words is simply not reasonable.
          As  can  be  seen from  the  above-
quoted excerpts, Rantala did not ask Mischler
to  answer  only  yes or no to  any  and  all
questions.   Rather,  he  urged  Mischler  to
answer  as  simply and concisely as possible:
[D]ont elaborate on anything.  If youre going
to  say  anything, just say yes or  no.   ...
Just  answer yes or no.  Dont go into a whole
bunch  of ...  (apparently, a whole bunch  of
explanation or detail).
          We  acknowledge that the  State  is
entitled  to rely on any reasonable inference
from the evidence.  But in this instance, the
States  suggested interpretation of  Rantalas
words   is  not  plausible.   It  is   simply
unreasonable to interpret Rantalas words as a
request  for Mischler to confine  herself  to
yes  or  no  answers  even  when,  given  the
prosecutors question, such an answer would be
nonsensical or non-responsive.
          The States second argument is that,
when  Rantala asked Mischler to refrain  from
elaborating when she answered questions,  and
to  simply  answer yes or no  to  the  extent
possible,  Rantala  was  effectively   asking
Mischler  to  unlawfully withhold  testimony.
The  State contends that if Mischler followed
Rantalas  suggestion, she would be  violating
her  oath as a witness  her oath to tell  the
whole truth.
          In  the courts of Alaska, witnesses
are  required  (before  they  commence  their
testimony)  to take an oath or  to  otherwise
affirm  (i.e.,  declare without  swearing  an
oath  to  a  deity)  that they  will  testify
truthfully.  Alaska Evidence Rule 603.
          Alaska  law  does not prescribe  an
exact  formula for this oath or  affirmation;
rather, Evidence Rule 603 merely states  that
the oath or affirmation shall be administered
in  a  form calculated to awaken the  witness
conscience and impress the witness mind  with
the  duty  to [testify truthfully].  However,
Alaska   courts  traditionally   employ   the
formula,  You do solemnly swear  [or  affirm]
that, in the cause now before this Court, you
will  tell  the truth, the whole  truth,  and
nothing but the truth ... ?10
          This  formula is several  centuries
old.11   It is, of course, designed to remind
witnesses  to  answer  truthfully,   and   to
encourage witnesses to be open and honest  in
their   testimony.    However,   the   States
argument  in  Rantalas case  requires  us  to
examine whether witnesses, when they swear to
tell  the whole truth, undertake a legal duty
to  answer all questions as fully as possible
or  whether, as suggested by the  wording  of
Evidence  Rule 603, witnesses have  the  more
circumscribed duty to testify truthfully.
          The  answer  to this  question  has
implications far beyond Rantalas case.
          This  Court  takes judicial  notice
that,   when   attorneys   prepare   friendly
witnesses for cross-examination at a trial or
evidentiary hearing, the attorneys will often
advise their witnesses to follow the approach
that  Rantala suggested to Mischler  in  this
case.   That  is, the attorneys  will  advise
their witnesses to testify truthfully, but to
answer yes or no to the extent possible,  and
to refrain from volunteering information that
is   not  actually  required  by  the  cross-
examiners questions.
          This   Court  also  takes  judicial
notice  that the success or impact of  cross-
examination  often  hinges  on   getting   an
adverse   witness  to  answer   the   lawyers
questions   directly  and   simply,   without
qualification or elaboration.   Lawyers  will
often  direct  adverse witnesses  to  confine
themselves  to yes or no answers,  even  when
the  witness  clearly  wants  to  qualify  or
elaborate  on  their answer.   Indeed,  trial
judges  will  often come to the  aid  of  the
cross-examiner in these instances, ordering a
witness  to  refrain from adding explanations
or  qualifications, and directing the witness
to   simply  answer  yes  or  no  unless  the
question can not fairly be answered  in  that
manner.
          Under    the    States    suggested
interpretation of the law, all three of these
participants  in  the  legal   process    the
attorney  preparing  a  witness  for   cross-
examination,  the  cross-examiner,  and   the
trial  judge  would apparently be subject  to
prosecution for witness tampering  under  the
theory  that they were trying to  induce  the
witness  to refrain from divulging the  whole
truth.
          The  fact that the States suggested
interpretation of the law leads to  this  odd
          result  a result so inconsistent with current
litigation    practices    is   probably    a
sufficient  reason,  in  and  of  itself,  to
reject  the  States approach to  this  issue.
There  is, moreover, a United States  Supreme
Court  decision  on  a  related  issue   (the
definition  of perjury) that counsels  us  to
reject the States suggested interpretation of
the  witness tampering statute.  The case  is
Bronston v. United States, 409 U.S.  352,  93
S.Ct. 595, 34 L.Ed.2d 568 (1973).
          The  defendant in Bronston was  the
sole   owner  of  a  company  that   declared
bankruptcy.12  During a hearing in bankruptcy
court,  while  Bronston was being  questioned
about the extent and location of his companys
assets,  he gave an answer that was literally
true,  but  not  responsive to the  question.
Moreover,   the  implications  of   Bronstons
answer were misleading:

     Attorney  for a creditor:  Do  you  have
any   bank  accounts  in  Swiss  banks,   Mr.
Bronston?

     Bronston:  No, sir.

     Attorney:  Have you ever?

     Bronston:   The company had  an  account
there for about six months, in Zurich.

     Attorney:  Have you any nominees  [i.e.,
agents]  who  have  bank  accounts  in  Swiss
banks?

     Bronston:  No, sir.

     Attorney:  Have you ever?

     Bronston:  No, sir.

Bronston, 409 U.S. at 354, 93 S.Ct. at 598.
          In  fact, although Bronston  stated
truthfully that he had no Swiss bank  account
at  the time of the bankruptcy court hearing,
Bronston had previously maintained a personal
Swiss  bank  account for nearly  five  years.
Based  on this fact, and based on the  above-
quoted  answers,  Bronston was  convicted  of
perjury.  Id.
          The legal problem that prompted the
Supreme  Court to review Bronstons  case  was
this:  Bronston was asked whether he had ever
had a Swiss bank account.  His answer to this
          question was non-responsive:  he replied that
his company had had an account in Switzerland
for  six  months.  This answer was  literally
true,  but  it  did not answer the  attorneys
question,  and  it  could be  interpreted  as
implying that Bronston had never had a  Swiss
bank account.
          The  government based  its  perjury
prosecution  on the theory that, even  though
Bronstons  answer to the question  was  true,
Bronston  intended to mislead  his  creditors
and  the  bankruptcy court  by unresponsively
addressing  his answer to his  companys  bank
accounts   rather   than   his   own.13    In
conformity  with  the governments  theory  of
prosecution, the jury at Bronstons trial  was
instructed  that Bronston could  properly  be
convicted   of   perjury   if   his   answer,
[although]  not literally false, nevertheless
constitute[d]   a   false   statement    when
evaluated  in  the context in  which  it  was
given.14
          The  Supreme  Court concluded  that
this  was  not a proper basis for  a  perjury
conviction  under  the  federal  statute,  18
U.S.C.   1621.  The Court first  noted  that,
although   the   federal   perjury    statute
prohibits  a  witness from  willfully  making
false  statements  under oath,  it  does  not
prohibit  a witness from willfully  making  a
true  statement that implies any  ...  matter
that  [the  witness] does not believe  to  be
true.  Bronston, 409 U.S. at 357-58, 93 S.Ct.
at 599 (emphasis in the original quote).
          The  Court  acknowledged  that  the
governments suggested reading of the  perjury
statute  might  advance the accuracy  of  the
fact-finding   process,15   but   the   Court
concluded   that  other  important   policies
required a narrower definition of perjury.
          The  Court first noted that it  was
doubtful   whether  Congress   intended   the
federal    government   to   employ   perjury
prosecutions   to   cure   ...    testimonial
mishap[s]  that could readily [be  corrected]
with  a single additional question by counsel
alert  as every examiner ought to be  to  the
incongruity   of  [a  witnesss]  unresponsive
answer.16
          Next, the Court observed that  most
unresponsive  answers  do  not  stem  from  a
witnesss  desire  to  subvert  justice,   but
rather  from  the pressures and  tensions  of
interrogation:

     [I]t   is  not  uncommon  for  the  most
earnest  witnesses to give answers  that  are
not   entirely  responsive.   Sometimes   the
witness does not understand the question,  or
[the  witness] may[,] in an excess of caution
or  apprehension[,]  read  too  much  or  too
little into it.  [And it] should come  as  no
surprise  that a participant in a  bankruptcy
proceeding may have something to conceal  and
consciously [try] to do so, or that a  debtor
may  be  embarrassed at his plight and  yield
information reluctantly.

Bronston, 409 U.S. at 358, 93 S.Ct. 600.  The
Court declared that our legal systems primary
cure  for  these problems is the  adversarial
process itself:

     It  is  the responsibility of the lawyer
to  probe[.]  ... [I]nterrogation, and cross-
examination  in  particular,  is  a  probing,
prying,  pressing  form  of  inquiry.   If  a
witness    evades,   it   is   the    lawyers
responsibility to recognize the  evasion  and
bring  the witness back to the mark, to flush
out  the  whole  truth  with  the  tools   of
adversary examination.

Bronston,  409 U.S. at 358-59,  93  S.Ct.  at
600.
          The  Court recognized that, in some
instances,  a  witness who fails  to  give  a
responsive    answer   may   be   consciously
attempting to mislead their examiner and  the
court  or  jury.17  But the  Court  concluded
that  [a]  jury  should not be  permitted  to
engage  in  conjecture  [as  to]  whether  an
unresponsive answer, true and complete on its
face,  was intended to mislead or divert  the
examiner.18  The Court explained:

     To  hold otherwise would be to inject  a
new  and confusing element into the adversary
testimonial system we know.  Witnesses  would
be    unsure   of   the   extent   of   their
responsibility for the misunderstandings  [or
the]  inadequacies  of examiners,  and  might
well  fear having that responsibility  tested
by  a  jury [in a perjury prosecution]  under
the  vague  rubric of intent  to  mislead  or
perjury  by implication.  ...  [T]he measures
taken  against the offense [of perjury]  must
not  be  so severe as to discourage witnesses
from  appearing  or testifying.   ...   [T]he
obligation   of  protecting  witnesses   from
     oppression ... by charges, or threats of
charges, of having borne false testimony,  is
far  paramount to that of giving ...  perjury
its deserts.

Bronston,  409 U.S. at 359, 93 S.Ct.  at  600
(citations   and  internal  quotation   marks
omitted).
          For   these  reasons,  the  Supreme
Court  concluded  that  the  federal  perjury
statute should not be construed so broadly as
to allow the government to [invoke it] simply
because  a wily witness succeeds in derailing
the  questioner [by] speak[ing]  the  literal
truth.19   Rather,  [t]he burden  is  on  the
questioner  to pin the witness  down  to  the
specific object of the questioners inquiry.20
          For state court decisions that have
adopted    the    Bronston   approach    when
interpreting their own perjury statutes,  see
In  re  Rosoto, 519 P.2d 1065,  1071-72;  112
Cal.Rptr.  641, 647-48 (Cal. 1974);  Cabe  v.
Superior  Court, 74 Cal.Rptr.2d  331,  336-38
(Cal. App. 1998); State v. Forbes, 918 S.W.2d
431,  444 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1995); People  v.
Neumann, 417 N.E.2d 69, 72; 435 N.Y.S.2d 956,
959-960 (N.Y. 1980); State v. Olson, 594 P.2d
1337, 1340 (Wash. 1979); State v. Stump,  870
P.2d 333, 335 (Wash. App. 1994).
          In  general,  see  the  Annotation,
Incomplete,  Misleading, or Unresponsive  But
Literally  True  Statement  as  Perjury,   69
A.L.R.3d 993 (1976).
          Our  purpose  in  undertaking  this
lengthy  review of the Bronston  decision  is
not  to  adopt  a  similar interpretation  of
Alaskas  perjury statute; that issue  is  not
before   us.    Rather,  we  have   discussed
Bronston because we believe that the  Supreme
Courts  reasoning  in  Bronston  is  an   apt
response to the States argument in this case.
          As  we explained earlier, the State
argues  in this case that a witness  violates
their  oath if their answers fail to disclose
the  whole  truth (i.e., all details  of  the
witnesss knowledge that are relevant  to  the
questions  asked)   and,  thus,  anyone   who
advises or encourages a witness to give  such
answers is guilty of witness tampering.
          If  we  were to adopt this view  of
the  law, we would (in the words of Bronston)
inject  a new and confusing element into  our
legal  system.   The people who  prepare  and
advise  witnesses  (for instance,  attorneys,
business  associates,  family  members,   and
          friends) would operate under the fear of
criminal penalties, or at least the threat of
criminal prosecution, for saying things which
might  later  be  construed  as  advising  or
encouraging the witness not to volunteer some
aspect  of  their knowledge   even  if  these
people  unequivocally advised the witness  to
tell the truth.
          Such  a  rule  would  fundamentally
alter  our  adversarial process.   Obviously,
there  are  many  instances when  a  witnesss
honest  answers  will not  reveal  the  whole
truth known to the witness.  But that is what
direct examination and cross-examination  are
for.
          For  these  reasons, we reject  the
States argument that a person commits witness
tampering,  as defined in AS 11.56.540(a)(1),
if the person advises the witness to give yes
or  no  answers whenever reasonably possible,
and not to volunteer information or elaborate
on their answers if this extra information is
not solicited by the examiners questions.
          We  have now examined  and rejected
all  of  the States arguments as to  why  the
evidence   at   Rantalas   trial   might   be
sufficient  to  support  his  conviction  for
witness   tampering.   We  now  address   the
additional  argument raised by our dissenting
colleague.
          In Judge Bolgers dissent, he argues
that  Rantala could properly be convicted  of
witness tampering because he advised Mischler
that  she  could just tell them, No,  I  dont
have  anything to say.  Judge Bolger suggests
that,  in  the  light most favorable  to  the
State, Rantalas words could be likened to the
conduct that was deemed sufficient to support
a  witness-tampering  charge  in  Boggess  v.
State, 783 P.2d 1173 (Alaska App. 1989).
          The  defendant in Boggess urged his
wife  to improperly claim the Fifth Amendment
privilege (i.e., claim the privilege  against
self-incrimination  even though  her  answers
would not tend to incriminate her).  He  also
asked  his  wife to just break down  and  cry
rather  than  answer  questions  that   would
elicit  information unfavorable to him.   Id.
at  1175.   We held that this conduct  was  a
proper    basis   for   a   witness-tampering
conviction.  Id. at 1181.
          It  is  true that Rantala  said  to
Mischler, You just tell them, No, I dont have
anything  to  say.  But those words  must  be
read  in  context.   What  Rantala  said   to
Mischler is this:

     Rantala:  You still dont have to testify
in  front  of  the grand jury if  they  didnt
subpoena you.  You just tell them, No, I dont
have  anything to say.  That way,  they  wont
indict me [on] this.

In  other  words, Rantala was urging Mischler
to  tell  the  authorities  that,  absent   a
subpoena, she had nothing to say to them.
          It  is true, as Judge Bolger notes,
that  when we assess the sufficiency  of  the
evidence to support a criminal charge, we are
obliged  to  view the evidence in  the  light
most   favorable  to  sustaining  the   jurys
verdict.21     But    in   fulfilling    this
obligation,  we  must  confine  ourselves  to
reasonable interpretations of the evidence.22
And in deciding what Rantala might have meant
by  this one particular sentence, we must not
take that one sentence in isolation.  Rather,
we  must interpret that sentence in light  of
Rantalas statements to Mischler as a whole.
          Viewing Rantalas words as a  whole,
the  only reasonable interpretation  is  that
Rantala  was  urging  Mischler  to  tell  the
authorities  that she would  not  voluntarily
cooperate    in    the   proposed    burglary
prosecution  that she had nothing to  say  in
the  absence  of a subpoena.   It  is  simply
unreasonable  to take one sentence  from  the
middle of Rantalas statement and interpret it
as  a  request  for  Mischler  to  unlawfully
refuse  to  answer questions under  different
circumstances  that is, refuse to  answer  in
the  event that she was later subpoenaed  and
called as a witness before the grand jury.
          Judge  Bolger  also relies  on  the
fact   that,   at  one  point   in   Rantalas
conversation with Mischler, Rantala told her,
If  you  dont want to answer, say no.   Judge
Bolger suggests that this statement could  be
interpreted  as  a request  for  Mischler  to
simply    refuse   to   answer    unfavorable
questions, even if she chose to testify under
oath  to  the grand jury.  Again, we  do  not
believe that this suggested interpretation is
reasonable.
          All   told,   Rantala  spoke   with
Mischler  for  more than half  an  hour.   He
repeatedly  asked Mischler not  to  cooperate
with  the burglary investigation, and not  to
testify voluntarily to the grand jury if  she
had   not  been  subpoenaed.   Alternatively,
          Rantala urged Mischler  if she chose to
testify  to refrain from elaborating or  from
volunteering   information   that   was   not
solicited  by the questions, and  to  confine
herself  to  yes or no answers to the  extent
possible.  As we have already explained,  all
of  this  was  lawful; it did not  constitute
witness tampering.
          Against this backdrop, and  in  the
midst  of their conversation, Rantala uttered
one sentence  If you dont want to answer, say
no.   that might be interpreted as a  request
for    Mischler   to   unlawfully    withhold
testimony.   But  this  interpretation  would
require  us  to  ignore the  context  of  the
lengthy conversation as a whole.
          Our  conclusion, that it  would  be
unreasonable   to  interpret   Rantalas   one
isolated sentence in the manner suggested  by
Judge  Bolger, is bolstered by the fact that,
when  the prosecutor argued Rantalas case  to
the jury, she never mentioned this particular
sentence.   From the prosecutors  silence  on
this   subject,  one  can  infer   that   the
prosecutor   did  not  view   this   isolated
sentence as a substantive departure from what
Rantala had been saying to Mischler.  Rather,
the prosecutor viewed this sentence as simply
part  of  Rantalas  three  main  requests  to
Mischler:   urging Mischler  not  to  testify
voluntarily,  asking  Mischler  to  tell  the
authorities that she did not want  to  pursue
the  charge, and asking Mischler to give  yes
or no answers.
          As the prosecutor made clear in her
summation, the States theory of this case was
that  these  three requests were the  conduct
that  violated the witness tampering statute.
The prosecutor never argued that Rantalas one
sentence, If you dont want to answer, say no,
constituted  a new and different actus  reus.
In  other words, the prosecutor never  argued
the  theory  now  advanced by  Judge  Bolger:
that this one isolated sentence constituted a
direct  request for Mischler to simply refuse
to answer questions under oath if she did not
wish to answer them.
          We  further note that, even if this
one  isolated  sentence could  reasonably  be
interpreted as Judge Bolger suggests, Rantala
would still be entitled to a reversal of  his
conviction,  although  the  State  would   be
entitled  to re-try him.  Rantalas conviction
would  still have to be reversed because  the
prosecutor  never argued that Rantala  should
be  convicted based on the one sentence  that
Judge  Bolger  has identified.   Rather,  the
prosecutor  argued  that  Rantala  should  be
convicted  under the three theories  that  we
have discussed and rejected in this opinion.
          The   jurors   in   Rantalas   case
returned  a general verdict.  They  were  not
asked  to  specify the precise  conduct  that
they relied on when they found Rantala guilty
of   witness  tampering.   Even  if  the  one
sentence    identified   by   Judge    Bolger
conceivably  might have been a  proper  basis
for finding Rantala guilty, there would still
be   a   substantial  chance  that  the  jury
convicted Rantala based on one or more of the
three  erroneous theories that the prosecutor
argued  in  her  summation.   Rantala   would
therefore  be entitled to a reversal  of  his
conviction.  See State v. Lobe, 167 P.3d 627,
631-32  (Wash. App. 2007).  See also Love  v.
State,  457 P.2d 622, 634 (Alaska 1969)  (the
test  for  harmless  error  is  whether   the
appellate court can fairly say that the error
did   not   appreciably  affect   the   jurys
verdict).

Conclusion

     None  of  the three theories that  the  State
relied   on  to  prosecute  Rantala  for   witness
tampering  were valid.  Accordingly,  we  conclude
that Rantalas conviction is unlawful.
     The  judgement  of  the  superior  court   is
REVERSED.
BOLGER, Judge, dissenting in part.

          I agree with the majority opinions resolution
of   John  Rantalas  double  jeopardy  claim.   But   I
respectfully  dissent from the portion of  the  opinion
addressing  the sufficiency of the evidence  supporting
Rantalas  conviction for tampering with a  witness.   I
conclude  that the record supports Rantalas  conviction
on   the   charge  that  he  knowingly   induce[d]   or
attempt[ed]  to  induce a witness to  testify  falsely,
offer  misleading  testimony,  or  unlawfully  withhold
testimony in an official proceeding.1
          As   noted  in  the  majority  opinion,  Teri
Mischler  told  Rantala during their  second  telephone
conversation that she had not yet received a  subpoena.
Rantala then told Mischler:
          Then  you  dont even  have  to  say
          anything  to them.  You could  just
          say, Oh yeah he came in through the
          window, but ... just say yes or  no
          to  them.   In fact, you could  say
          well,  I  dont even want to  pursue
          this.  And  they cant  do  anything
          about  it.  Then I can go to  court
          [on   the   additional  misdemeanor
          charges]  and Ill plead  guilty  to
          [them] and youll be out of it.  You
          wont   have   to  deal  with   this
          anymore.   You  understand  what  I
          want, trying to do here?
Rantala stressed that Mischler should refuse to testify
in front of the grand jury because she had not received
a  subpoena, and that she should just tell them  no,  I
dont  have  anything  to say, and that  way  they  wont
indict  me.   Toward the end of the call, Rantala  told
Mischler, if they didnt subpoena you, you dont have  to
say  anything.  And whatever you do, dont elaborate  on
anything.  If youre going to say anything, just say yes
or  no.   You  know what I mean?  If you dont  want  to
answer, say no.
          It  is  possible that Rantala merely intended
to  tell  Mischler that she was not required to testify
without a subpeona and that she should not elaborate if
she chose to do so.  But in determining the sufficiency
of  the  evidence,  we must view the evidence  and  the
inferences to be drawn from that evidence in the  light
most  favorable to upholding the verdict.2   Viewed  in
this   light,   Rantalas  statements  could   also   be
reasonably  interpreted to mean that, even if  Mischler
chose to take the stand, she should refuse to answer or
simply  answer  no  if she did not  want  to  answer  a
question.
          The  prosecutor relied on this interpretation
of  the  evidence  during her  closing  argument.   She
contended that Rantalas suggestion that Mischler should
          tell the grand jury, I dont even want to pursue this,
amounted  to  unlawful withholding of  testimony.   She
followed  this contention with a legitimate conclusion:
If you havent been subpoenaed, you dont have to appear.
But  once  you  appear,  whether  or  not  you  have  a
subpoena, you have to testify truthfully.
          We  have previously held similar evidence  to
be  sufficient  to  support a  conviction  for  witness
tampering.   In  Boggess v. State,  the  sole  evidence
supporting  a  conviction was the  testimony  that  the
defendant  told  his  wife that  instead  of  answering
questions  before the grand jury, she should plead  the
fifth  or break down and cry.3  We concluded that  this
testimony   was  sufficient  to  establish   that   the
defendant was guilty of attempting to induce  his  wife
to   unlawfully  withhold  evidence  in   an   official
proceeding.4

          The  same  is true in the present  case:  The
jury  could have reasonably concluded that Rantala  was
attempting to persuade Mischler that, if she  chose  to
appear before the grand jury, she should testify  in  a
misleading  manner,  or illegally  withhold  testimony.
This  conclusion would support Rantalas conviction  for
witness tampering.
_______________________________
  1 AS 11.56.540(a)(1).

2See Griffith v. Taylor, 12 P.3d 1163, 1169 (Alaska 2000);
Gravel  v.  State, 499 P.2d 1022, 1025  (Alaska  1972);
Roberts v. State, 680 P.2d 503, 507 (Alaska App. 1984).

3Smith v. State, 185 P.3d 767, 768 (Alaska App. 2008); State
v. Jones, 759 P.2d 558, 569 (Alaska App. 1988).

4Rempel, 785 P.2d at 1135.

5Id.

6Id. at 1135-36.

7This statute is quoted in Rempel, 785 P.2d at 1136 n. 1.

8Id., 1999 WL 155946 at *12.

9Id.

10  Quoted in Flores v. State, 443 P.2d 73, 75 (Alaska 1968).

11   For example, the English Book of Oaths dated  1649
contains  the  following  Oath  of  Evidence  upon  the
Arraignement  of  the  Prisoner  at  the  Barre:    The
evidence  that  you shall give to this inquest  against
the  prisoner at the barre, shall be the truth, and the
whole truth, and nothing but the truth as neere as  God
shall  give you grace.  (Quoted in John Henry  Wigmore,
Evidence  in  Trials  at Common  Law  (Chadbourn  revn,
1976),  1818, Vol. 6, p. 389.)

12  Bronston, 409 U.S. at 353, 93 S.Ct. at 597.

13  Id., 409 U.S. at 355, 93 S.Ct. at 598.

14  Id.

15  Id., 409 U.S. at 358, 93 S.Ct. at 600.

16  Id.

17  Id., 409 U.S. at 359, 93 S.Ct. at 600.

18  Id.

19  Id., 409 U.S. at 360, 93 S.Ct. at 601.

20  Id.

21  See, e.g., Newsom v. State, 199 P.3d 1181, 1188 (Alaska
App. 2009).

22  See, e.g., Hinson v. State, 199 P.3d 1166, 1170 (Alaska
App.  2008); Dailey v. State, 65 P.3d 891, 898  (Alaska
App. 2003).

1 AS 11.56.540(a)(1).

2 Tipkin v. Anchorage, 65 P.3d 899, 901 (Alaska App. 2003).

3 783 P.2d 1173, 1181 (Alaska App. 1989).

4 Id.

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