STAND. COM. REP. NO. 770

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 2

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 2 entitled:

 

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

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to:

 

(1) Prohibit defendants from claiming that discovery, knowledge, or disclosure of a victim's gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation resulted in extreme mental or emotional disturbance sufficient to reduce a charge of murder to a charge of manslaughter unless the other circumstances of a defendant's explanation are already sufficient to reasonably find extreme mental or emotional disturbance; and

 

(2) Require the court to instruct the jury to disregard bias and prejudice regarding gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation when a defendant's explanation of extreme mental or emotional disturbance includes discovery, knowledge, or disclosure of a victim's gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of the County of Kauai, Honolulu Police Department, LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Americans for Democratic Action, Human Rights Campaign, Rainbow Family 808, and nineteen individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Office of the Public Defender.

 

Your Committee finds that over the years, members of the LGBTQIA community have suffered significant discrimination, prejudice, and other related hardships. Your Committee additionally finds that no one should be targeted as a victim based on bias against their actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. This measure will prevent a defendant from claiming that the discovery of a victim's gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation caused extreme mental or emotional disturbance sufficient to reduce a charge of murder to a charge of manslaughter.

 

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. 2 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.

 

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

 

 

 

________________________________

KARL RHOADS, Chair