REPORT TITLE:
Adult Death Review Teams


DESCRIPTION:
Establishes a protocol for the development and implementation of
death review teams to review any adult domestic violence and
sexual assault-related deaths.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        
THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           596
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO VIOLENCE.



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that multiagency death
 
 2 review teams have been successful in ensuring that incidents of
 
 3 domestic violence and sexual assault homicides are addressed and
 
 4 in furthering the development of community prevention and
 
 5 intervention initiatives to reduce the number of deaths caused by
 
 6 these crimes.  These teams also have been largely responsible for
 
 7 ensuring that agency involvement in these crimes are examined to
 
 8 develop recommendations for changes in policies and procedures
 
 9 relating to crime response and prevention.
 
10      The legislature recognizes that existing law authorizes the
 
11 establishment of multiagency and multidisciplinary child death
 
12 reviews to assist state and local agencies in identifying and
 
13 examining child deaths, improve the response to child fatalities,
 
14 and reduce the incidences of preventable child deaths.  The
 
15 establishment of death review teams to address domestic violence
 
16 and sexual assault-related deaths would assist in reducing
 
17 incidents of these types of deaths.
 
18      The purpose of this Act is to address the problem of
 
19 domestic violence and sexual assault-related deaths by:
 

 
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 1      (1)  Authorizing the department of the attorney general to
 
 2           establish multiagency and multidisciplinary death
 
 3           review teams to help identify and review adult deaths
 
 4           from these crimes;
 
 5      (2)  Authorizing the department of the attorney general to
 
 6           coordinate state and local efforts to address domestic
 
 7           violence and sexual assault-related deaths; and
 
 8      (3)  Requiring the attorney general to develop a protocol
 
 9           for the development and implementation of multiagency
 
10           and multidisciplinary adult death review teams.
 
11      The purpose of this Act is to reduce incidents of domestic
 
12 violence and sexual assault-related homicides and suicides.
 
13      SECTION 2.  Chapter 28, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
 
14 by adding a new part to be appropriately designated and to read
 
15 as follows:
 
16                   "PART   .  ADULT DEATH REVIEW
 
17      28-A  Definitions.  As used in this part:
 
18      "Adult" means a person eighteen years of age and older.
 
19      "Adult death review information" means information regarding
 
20 the deceased and the alleged perpetrator, including but not
 
21 limited to:
 
22      (1)  Social, medical, and legal histories;
 

 
 
 
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 1      (2)  Death certificates;
 
 2      (3)  Law enforcement investigative data;
 
 3      (4)  Medical examiner or coroner investigative data;
 
 4      (5)  Parole and probation information and records;
 
 5      (6)  Information and records of social service agencies and
 
 6           providers;
 
 7      (7)  Court records; and
 
 8      (8)  Health care institution records.
 
 9      "Department" means the department of the attorney general.
 
10      "Preventable death" means a death that reasonable medical,
 
11 social, legal, psychological, or education intervention may have
 
12 prevented.
 
13      28-B  Access to information.(a)  The attorney general
 
14 shall develop a protocol for the development and implementation
 
15 of death review teams that will review any adult domestic
 
16 violence and sexual assault-related deaths.
 
17      (b)  The attorney general may develop a protocol to be used
 
18 as a guideline to assist coroners and other persons, who perform
 
19 autopsies on domestic violence and sexual assault victims, in:
 
20      (1)  Identifying domestic violence and sexual assault;
 
21      (2)  Determining whether domestic violence and sexual
 
22           assault contributed to death, or occurred prior to
 

 
 
 
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                                     S.B. NO.           596
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1           death but was not the actual cause of death; and
 
 2      (3)  Establishing proper written reporting procedures for
 
 3           domestic violence and sexual assault, including the
 
 4           designation of the cause and mode of death.
 
 5      (c)  Upon written request of the attorney general, all
 
 6 providers of medical care and social services and state and
 
 7 county agencies shall disclose to the department, and those
 
 8 individuals appointed by the attorney general to participate in
 
 9 the review of adult domestic violence and sexual assault-related
 
10 deaths, any relevant information regarding the circumstances of a
 
11 victim's death so that the department may conduct multiagency and
 
12 multidisciplinary review of domestic violence and sexual assault-
 
13 related deaths pursuant to this part.
 
14      (d)  To the extent that this section conflicts with other
 
15 state confidentiality laws, this section shall prevail.
 
16      28-C  Exception.  Information regarding an ongoing civil or
 
17 criminal investigation shall be disclosed at the discretion of
 
18 the applicable state, county, or federal law enforcement agency.
 
19      28-D  Use of adult death review information and records.
 
20 (a)  Except as otherwise provided in this part, all adult death
 
21 review information acquired by the department during its review
 
22 of adult domestic violence and sexual assault-related deaths
 

 
 
 
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 1 pursuant to this part, is confidential and may only be disclosed
 
 2 as necessary to carry out the purposes of this part.
 
 3      (b)  Adult death review information and statistical
 
 4 compilations of data that do not contain any information that
 
 5 would permit the identification of any person shall be government
 
 6 records of which disclosure is required.
 
 7      (c)  Recommendations for changes in policy or procedure made
 
 8 by a domestic violence and sexual assault death review team, and
 
 9 which do not contain any information that would permit the
 
10 identification of any person, shall also become government
 
11 records of which disclosure is required upon completion of a
 
12 review.
 
13      (d)  No individual participating in the department's
 
14 multiagency and multidisciplinary review of an adult death under
 
15 this part may be questioned in any civil or criminal proceeding
 
16 regarding information presented in or opinions formed as a result
 
17 of a death review meeting.  Nothing in this subsection shall be
 
18 construed to prevent a person from testifying to information
 
19 obtained independently of the department's multiagency and
 
20 multidisciplinary review of an adult death under this part, or
 
21 which is public information, or where disclosure is required by
 
22 law or court order.
 

 
 
 
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 1      (e)  Adult death review information held by the department
 
 2 as a result of adult death reviews conducted under this part are
 
 3 not subject to subpoena, discovery, or introduction into evidence
 
 4 in any civil or criminal proceeding, except that adult death
 
 5 review information otherwise available from other sources is not
 
 6 immune from subpoena, discovery, or introduction into evidence
 
 7 through those sources solely because they were provided as
 
 8 required by this part.
 
 9      28-E  Immunity from liability.  All agencies and
 
10 individuals participating in the review of adult deaths from
 
11 domestic violence or sexual assault pursuant to this part shall
 
12 not be held civilly or criminally liable for providing the
 
13 information required under this part."
 
14      SECTION 3.  In codifying the new part added to chapter 28,
 
15 Hawaii Revised Statutes, by section 2 of this Act, the revisor of
 
16 statutes shall substitute appropriate section numbers for the
 
17 letters used in the new sections' designations in this Act.
 
18      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
 
19 
 
20                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________