701-100 Title and effective date of amendments. Title 37 shall be known as the Hawaii Penal Code. Amendments made to this Code by Act 314, Session Laws of Hawaii 1986, shall become effective on January 1, 1987. [L 1972, c 9, pt of 1; am L 1986, c 314, pt of 1]




The purpose of this Code is to codify the major part of Hawaii's penal law. The law has never before been completely codified. Judicial construction has been relied on to supply definitions, defenses, and general principles of penal liability. The statutory law, dating from time long past, uses language which is now obscure or mysterious. Unmeritorious defenses have been allowed because of the law's incompleteness, and some persons have escaped punishment because some new variation of criminal conduct is not defined as a crime. On the other hand, certain acts are defined as crimes which are not considered criminal today by a great majority of the people. This Code corrects these defects in the law, while putting it in a more rational and accessible form.




Act 314, Session Laws 1986, provided that that Act's amendments to the Code take effect on January 1, 1987. By delaying the effective date of the amendments, the legislature intended to give criminal justice agencies time to determine how the amendments will affect them and to make provisions for the changes. Conference Committee Report No. 51-86.



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