Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                     , 1999

                                   RE:  S.B. No. 176

Honorable Norman Mizuguchi
President of the Senate
Twentieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 1999
State of Hawaii


     Your Committee on Health and Human Services, to which was
referred S.B. No. 176 entitled: 


begs leave to report as follows:

     The purpose of this measure is to create criminal offenses
for child abuse in the first and second degrees and to make other
revisions to the penal code pertaining to child abuse.

     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure
from the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and
County of Honolulu, Police Department of the City and County of
Honolulu, and American Academy of Pediatrics.  Informational
testimony was submitted by the Public Defender.

     Specifically, this measure:

     (1)  Requires that when determining if force is justifiable,
          consideration must be given to the condition of the

     (2)  Raises the age of a child victim from under eight to
          under twelve years old which subjects a convicted
          defendant to consideration for an extended term of

     (3)  Raises the age of a child victim from under eight to
          under twelve years old which subjects a convicted

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          defendant to a mandatory term of imprisonment without
          the possibility of parole for cases of death or serious
          bodily injury; and

     (4)  Reclassifies the offense of recklessly allowing another
          person to inflict serious or substantial bodily injury
          on the minor from a second degree to first degree

     Your Committee finds that the penal code is lacking in
offenses specific to child abuse and in punishment for those
offenses.  This measure closes those loopholes, serves as a
deterrent to child abuse, and punishes those who commit the most
serious abuses.

     Your Committee defers to the Committee on the Judiciary for
appropriate amendments, if any, to this measure.  However, your
Committee notes that the Public Defender raised a concern that
this measure makes no distinction between very dissimilar conduct
and yet punishes both offenses equally.  According to the Public
Defender, no other felony-assault type offense does this.  It is
contrary not only to our penal law but to the notion that conduct
is punished in accordance with the level of culpability of the
state of mind with which the act has been committed.  The same
consideration applies to elevating recklessly endangering the
welfare of a minor in the second degree to a first degree felony.

     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your
Committee on Health and Human Services that is attached to this
report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose
of S.B. No. 176 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be
referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

                                   Respectfully submitted on
                                   behalf of the members of the
                                   Committee on Health and Human

                                   SUZANNE CHUN OAKLAND, Chair

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