S.B. NO. 2842, H.D. 3






APRIL 13, 2004



SECTION 1. S.B. No. 2842, S.D. 1, H.D. 3 (RELATING TO CHAPTER 846E, HAWAII REVISED STATUTES), is amended by adding two new Sections to read:

"SECTION 6. The legislature created a sex offender registry in 1997 (chapter 846E, Hawaii Revised Statutes). In 2001, the Hawaii supreme court held that the public access portion of the law was unconstitutional because it did not provide sex offenders with an opportunity to be heard before their information was posted on the Internet. In 2002 and again in 2003, the legislature amended the law to provide for hearings so that Internet information would once more be available to the public.

In the interim since the enactment of a process by which sex offender information could be placed on the Internet, almost no hearings have been requested. As a result of the supreme court's decision and delays in hearings, there is a backlog of offenders whose information should have been available to the public.

For the sake of processing the nearly two thousand cases waiting to be put on the list, a constitutional amendment has been proposed to:

(1) Allow the legislature to define what sex offender registration information constitutes registration information to which the public will have access; and

(2) Decide the manner in which public access to the registration information is obtained.

In anticipation of the enactment of the amendment and before any legislation is enacted pursuant thereto, a task force should be convened to study proposed legislation. The task force should make recommendations to the legislature in the event the constitution is amended. However, should the proposed amendment fail, the task force recommendations need not be implemented since legislation would be unnecessary to effectuate the constitutional amendment. Although the task force may submit its recommendations prior to the enactment of the constitutional amendment, in no way should the creation of the task force be construed to endorse or support the proposed constitutional amendment.

SECTION 7. The judicial council of Hawaii, established pursuant to section 601-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, shall convene a task force to engage in a comprehensive review of public access to information regarding persons convicted of sexual offenses and to recommend to the legislature amendments, if any, to existing procedures.

The task force shall serve without compensation, and its membership shall comprise a balanced representation of interested parties in the community, which shall include but not be limited to representatives of:

(1) The judiciary;

(2) The department of the attorney general;

(3) The office of the public defender;

(4) The department of the prosecuting attorney for each county;

(5) The police department of each county;

(6) The Hawaii State Bar Association;

(7) The Hawaii Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers;

(8) The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii;

(9) Private citizens interested in criminal law and civil liberties;

(10) Attorneys in private practice involving the criminal law; and

(11) Victim advocate groups.

The task force shall review the applicable offenses that subject a person to possible publication of registration information under chapter 846E, Hawaii Revised Statutes, and review:

(1) Standards and criteria that may be required by the federal government in order for Hawaii to receive funding to support registration and publication of information;

(2) Differing requirements for publication of information throughout the nation;

(3) Applicable state statutes and rules from jurisdictions other than Hawaii;

(4) Cost factors involved with various procedures used in other jurisdictions;

(5) Evaluations of such statutes and procedures and the anticipated impact of enacting similar laws and procedures in Hawaii; and

(6) Other relevant issues as deemed appropriate for discussion by the task force.

Findings shall provide the legislature with factual information, the national experience, and "best practices" for the purpose of assisting the legislature in determining and developing proposed legislature to ensure:

(1) The most appropriate identification of offenses that are subject to chapter 846E, Hawaii Revised Statutes;

(2) The nature, scope, and extent of information to which the public has a right of access;

(3) The manner of access to the registration information; and

(4) Any periods of time or procedures by which convicted persons may petition for termination of public access in Hawaii.

Further, findings shall specifically include but not be limited to:

(1) A compilation of the relevant Hawaii statutes and rules;

(2) A compilation of the number of cases in each judicial circuit of Hawaii affected by the proposed changes in procedures;

(3) A compilation of statutes and practices in other jurisdictions; and

(4) An evaluation of statutes and charging practices and their impact on the administration of justice.

The task force shall also review and evaluate the issue of the lifetime requirement for public access to registration information and shall issue findings that provide the legislature with factual information, the national experience, and "best practices" for the purpose of assisting the legislature in determining whether there is any period for any of the offenses whereby a person may be relieved of a requirement of public access to registration information or request that the person may be relieved of the requirement.

The task force shall report its findings and recommendations to the legislature no later than twenty days before the convening of the regular session of 2005."

SECTION 2. S.B. No. 2842, S.D. 1, H.D. 3 (RELATING TO CHAPTER 846E, HAWAII REVISED STATUTES) is amended by renumbering Sections 6 and 7 to Sections 8 and 9.

SECTION 3. S.B. No. 2842, S.D. 1, H.D. 3, (RELATING TO CHAPTER 846E, HAWAII REVISED STATUTES) is amended by renumbering Section 8 to Section 10 and amending renumbered Section 10 to read as follows:

"SECTION 10. This Act shall take effect upon its approval."