Thursday, October 25, 2007

HB2 Extended Sentencing passes unamended

HB2 passed, unanimously, out of the Judiciary committee around 5 p.m. today unamended. Testifiers included Mark Bennett - Attorney General, Jack Tonaki - State Public Defender, Peter Carlisle - Honolulu Prosecutor, Major Nishimura - HPD Criminal Investigation Division, and Kelli Rosati - Hawaii Family Forum. All of the testifiers supported the bill. Mr. Tonaki, however, objected to the "retroactivity" clause. He believes that the old law was ruled unconstitutional, and the new law should not apply to pending cases or cases that occured prior to the enactment of the law.

AG Bennett testified that the proposed law is constitutional and that it should be made retroactive. Going back to 2002, the law would affect over 100 cases, with 43 scheduled motions to be heard as of October 24th. Prosecutor Carlisle drove home the fact that extended sentencing is reserved for the worst of the worst, and only about 20% of motions filed are granted the longer term sentences.

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