H.R. NO.



H.D. 1














     WHEREAS, victims of crime, despite the rights currently afforded to them, still require additional assistance in their time of need; and


     WHEREAS, the criminal justice system has a responsibility to help crime victims, who seek information on their cases and restitution from convicted persons, among other important issues; and


     WHEREAS, victims, surviving immediate family members of, and witnesses to a crime will be more cooperative if they trust law enforcement will protect them from harm; and


     WHEREAS, the criminal justice system will be viewed by the public as more lawful and compassionate when additional rights and protections are provided to crime victims; and


     WHEREAS, additional rights and protections are needed to alleviate the continuing injustice done to victims after the crime has been committed; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-sixth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2011, that upon a written request, a victim of, a surviving immediate family member of, or, where specifically provided below, a witness to a crime have the following rights:


     (1)  To be informed of the rights as set forth herein that are applicable to a victim of, surviving immediate family member of, or witness to a crime;

     (2)  To be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment, or abuse, throughout the criminal justice process;


     (3)  To be informed by the police and the prosecuting attorney of the final disposition of the case.  If the crime charged is a felony, the victim or a surviving immediate family member shall be notified of major developments in the case and whenever the defendant or perpetrator is released from custody.  The victim or a surviving immediate family member shall also be consulted and advised about plea bargaining by the prosecuting attorney;


     (4)  To be present at and to be informed of all criminal proceedings where the defendant has the right to be present;


     (5)  To be heard at any proceeding involving a post-arrest release decision, a negotiated plea, or sentencing;


     (6)  To be notified by the prosecuting attorney if a court proceeding to which a victim, surviving immediate family member, or witness has been subpoenaed will not proceed as scheduled;


     (7)  To receive protection from threats or harm;


     (8)  To be informed by the police, victim/witness counselor, or other criminal justice personnel, of financial assistance and other social services available as a result of being a witness to or a victim of a crime, including information on how to apply for the assistance and services;


     (9)  To be provided by the court, whenever possible, with a secure waiting area during court proceedings that does not require a victim or surviving immediate family member to be in close proximity to defendants and families and friends of defendants;


    (10)  To have any stolen or other personal property expeditiously returned by law enforcement agencies when the property is no longer needed as evidence.  If feasible, all the property, except weapons, currency, contraband, property subject to evidentiary analysis, and property, the ownership of which is undisputed, shall be returned to the person within ten days of being taken;


    (11)  To receive prompt restitution from the person or persons convicted of the crime that resulted in the victim's or surviving immediate family member's loss or injury;


    (12)  To be informed by the Department of Public Safety of changes planned by the department in the custodial status of the offender that allows or results in the release of the offender into the community, including escape, furlough, work release, placement on supervised release, release on parole, release on bail bond, release on appeal bond, and final discharge at the end of the prison term; and


    (13)  To be heard at any proceeding when any post-conviction release from confinement is being considered;




     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Public Safety, the Hawaii Paroling Authority, the judiciary probation divisions and branches, and the Department of the Attorney General shall make good faith efforts to notify the victim of a crime, or a surviving immediate family member, that:


     (1)  Income received by an imprisoned person exceeds $10,000; and


     (2)  Payment of restitution and judgments to a victim or surviving immediate family member shall be a precondition for release on parole for any imprisoned person whom the Hawaii Paroling Authority determines has the financial ability to pay restitution and judgments;




     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a victim shall have these rights and be eligible for services if the victim reported the crime to police even more than three months after its occurrence or discovery; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Public Safety, Chairperson and Administrator of the Hawaii Paroling Authority, Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court and judiciary probation divisions and branches, Attorney General, Chiefs of Police of the City and County of Honolulu, Maui County, Kauai County, and County of Hawaii, and victim/witness counselors.




Report Title: 

Bill of Rights for Victims