Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: S.B. No. 1037

S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 1037 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to:


(1) Amend the offense of strangulation of a family or household member to include blocking the nose or mouth of the person or applying excessive pressure to the chest; and


(2) Clarify that infliction of visible injury is not required to establish the offense.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of the County of Kauai, Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu, Honolulu Police Department, AAUW of Hawaii, Domestic Violence Action Center, Parents and Children Together, Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Zonta Club of Hilo, Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and two individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Office of the Public Defender.


Your Committee finds that strangulation is highly dangerous and potentially deadly form of abuse that frequently precedes other acts of violence. Your Committee further finds that successfully prosecuting perpetrators of strangulation can be difficult because only fifty percent of strangulation victims have visible injuries. This measure will enable more effective prosecution of strangulation cases.


Your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1) Requiring, for the offense of strangulation, the causing of bodily injury;


(2) Clarifying the definition of "bodily injury"; and


(3) 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 that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1037, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1037, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.


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