STAND. COM. REP. NO. 561

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 194

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Donna Mercado Kim

President of the Senate

Twenty-Seventh State Legislature

Regular Session of 2013

State of Hawaii

 

Madam:

 

Your Committee on Judiciary and Labor, to which was referred S.B. No. 194 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL PROCEDURE,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to exclude certain offenses from eligibility to be granted a deferred acceptance of guilty plea, including:

 

(1) A defendant who has been charged with a petty misdemeanor offense and has been previously granted deferred acceptance of guilty plea status for a prior felony, misdemeanor, or petty misdemeanor for which the term of deferral has not yet expired; and

 

(2) The offense charged is prostitution, street solicitation of prostitution, solicitation of prostitution near schools or public parks, or habitual solicitation of prostitution.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney, City and County of Honolulu; Equality Now; Courage House Hawaii; Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery; IMUAlliance; and seven individuals. Testimony in opposition to this measure was submitted by the Office of the Public Defender and one individual.

 

Your Committee finds that existing law does not provide a limit to the number of times a defendant may be granted a deferred acceptance of guilty plea for petty misdemeanor offenses. The Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu indicated in written testimony that while petty misdemeanors are considered the lowest level of criminal offenses, these offenses are still considered criminal and include offenses such as harassment, criminal property damage in the fourth degree, theft in the fourth degree, and prostitution. This measure provides that a defendant is not granted a deferred acceptance of guilty plea when the defendant is charged with a petty misdemeanor offense and was previously granted deferred acceptance of guilty plea status for a prior felony, misdemeanor, or petty misdemeanor for which the term of deferral has not yet expired.

 

Your Committee further finds that this measure will strengthen laws to combat domestic minor sex trafficking by excluding certain prostitution violations from eligibility to be granted a deferred acceptance of guilty plea.

 

During the public hearing of this measure, your Committee raised a question as to whether status offenders, as defined under section 571-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, should be excluded from eligibility to be granted a deferred acceptance of guilty plea. Subsequently, your Committee researched this matter and consulted with the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu and Office of the Public Defender. Your Committee determined that status offenders are under the jurisdiction of the Family Court pursuant to section 571-11(2)(B), (C), or (D), Hawaii Revised Statutes, to determine the case and take any action accordingly. Thus, amending this measure to exclude status offenders from eligibility to be granted a deferred acceptance of guilty plea is not necessary.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by inserting an effective date of July 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary and Labor that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 194, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 194, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary and Labor,

 

 

 

____________________________

CLAYTON HEE, Chair