Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 68

       S.D. 1




Honorable Donna Mercado Kim

President of the Senate

Twenty-Seventh State Legislature

Regular Session of 2013

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Judiciary and Labor, to which was referred S.B. No. 68 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to grant a court the discretion to sentence a defendant convicted of a class B or class C felony drug case to an indeterminate term of imprisonment except for certain crime convictions.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of the Public Defender, American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii, and Community Alliance on Prisons.  Testimony in opposition to this measure was submitted by the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney, County of Maui and Police Department, City and County of Honolulu.


     Your Committee finds that state mandatory minimum sentencing laws are being challenged across the nation because these laws mandate longer prison sentences regardless of whether the sentencing court believes the punishment is appropriate based on the circumstances and facts of the case.  Studies show that mandatory minimum sentencing of drug users causes an increase in incarceration costs and have a disproportionate impact on women and certain racial and ethnic groups.  This measure grants the sentencing court the discretion to sentence a defendant convicted of a class B or class C felony drug case to a prison sentence of a length appropriate to the defendant's particular offense and underlying circumstances.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Adopting the amendments suggested by the Office of the Public Defender to:


          (A)  Exclude promoting a dangerous drug in the second degree, promoting a harmful drug in the second degree, commercial promotion of marijuana in the second degree, and promoting a controlled substance through a minor from the list of drug offenses subject to the sentencing court's discretion; and


          (B)  Make conforming amendments to reflect these excluded specific drug offenses; and


     (2)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


     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. 68, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 68, 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,