3/1/2013 Highlights

On March 1, 2013, at 10:00 A.M. the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Legislative Team had a meeting with Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith M. Kaneshiro. Today is also the First Decking Deadline for the Hawaii State Legislature in which all bills need to pass out of its final committee to still be alive this year. We have 8 out of 11 of our legislative proposals proceeding in the 2013 Legislative Session.

At 12:30 P.M., our team had a meeting at our office with Maui Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Richard Minatoya, Deputy Attorney General Lance Goto, and we conference phone called Kauai Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar to go over legislation that are still moving.

At 2:30 P.M., before the House Judiciary Committee, I testified in support of HB1059, HD1 that requires the court to advise criminal defendants of the effects of a guilty or no contest plea on alien status.

I also testified in opposition of HB910, HD1. One of the primary purposes of this bill is to limit conditional release to a maximum of one year, for anyone granted conditional release after he or she was: (1) committed to the custody of the Director of Health, following an acquittal for physical or mental disease, disorder, or defect excluding penal responsibility; or (2) placed on conditional release pursuant to Chapter 704, then had such conditional release revoked if the original charge against that person was a misdemeanor, petty misdemeanor, or violation. When conditional release is granted, the court makes a specific determination that conditional release is necessary, as the defendant is still affected by physical or mental disease, disorder, or defect and still a danger to self or others. The court grants a conditional release
because it feels that the defendant can be safely released only if he or she is adequately monitored and given proper care, supervision, and treatment. Without such supervision and treatment, the defendant will continue to be a danger to self or others. Rather than apply a set one-year limitation on all conditional releases granted under HRS 5704-412 in which the defendant was charged with a pettv misdemeanor, misdemeanor, or violation, the Department would strongly recommend a case-by-case review by the court, involving a thorough review of all relevant facts and circumstances. Inevitably, some cases will call for supervision and treatment beyond one-year, particularly in cases under HRS §704-412, where the defendant was previously committed and/or had their conditional release revoked. Public safety is the Department’s highest priority, and proper supervision and treatment of defendants is critical to preventing future violence or criminal activity. Instead of placing a set
time limit on conditional release, the Department respectfully suggests a standardized schedule for court review. When a court finds that the defendant may be released into the community without being a danger to self or others, then it is within the court’s powers to discharge him or her at that time. For all the foregoing reasons, the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu opposes HB910, HD1.

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