STAND. COM. REP. NO.1115-02
RE: S.B. No. 996
Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 996 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT PROPOSING AMENDMENTS TO ARTICLE I, SECTION 10, OF THE HAWAII CONSTITUTION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of the bill to amend the State Constitution to allow prosecutors and the Attorney General to initiate criminal charges for the lowest grade of felony offenses by filing a written information, as provided by law.
The Attorney General, Departments of the Prosecuting Attorneys for the Counties of Honolulu, Maui and Hawaii, Honolulu Police Department, Hawaii County Police Department, Sex Abuse Treatment Center, Hawaii Bankers Association, Retail Merchants of Hawaii, Queen's Medical Center, Hawaii Hotel Association, CEATECH USA, Hunt's Laundromatics, Royal Guard Security, Inc., Waikiki Beach Activities, McCabe, Hamilton & Renny Co., Ltd., Allied Machinery Corp., Waikiki Improvement Assoc., and several individuals submitted testimony in support of this bill. The Office of the Public Defender, American Civil Liberties Union Hawaii, AFL-CIO, ILWU Local 142, and an individual submitted testimony in opposition to this bill.
Your Committee finds that the proposed concept of prosecution by information presents inherent dangers to the protections afforded by the grand jury or the preliminary hearing process. However, limiting the application of information only to Class C felonies may be justified when balanced against factors that include judicial economy. The Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney was present during decision-making and expressed concurrence with the limitation to Class C felonies. This measure is tied to proposed statutory provisions allowing for prosecution by information only for Class C felonies.
Your Committee has amended this bill by:
(1) Limiting prosecution by information to crimes charged in the lowest grade of felony; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for clarity and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 996, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 996, H.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs,
ERIC G. HAMAKAWA, Chair