TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2016
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE I OF CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF HAWAII TO ESTABLISH RIGHTS FOR VICTIMS OF CRIMES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The purpose of this Act is to propose an amendment to article I of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii to provide recognized and protected constitutional rights for victims of crime and, as may be further provided by law, certain surviving immediate family members.
SECTION 2. Article I of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"RIGHTS OF VICTIMS OF CRIME
SECTION . A crime victim or a deceased crime victim's surviving immediate family members, as those persons may be defined by law, shall have the following rights:
1. To be informed by the police and prosecuting attorney of the final disposition of the case. The crime victim or a deceased crime victim's surviving immediate family member shall be notified of major developments in the case, as that term may be defined by law, and whenever an accused person is released from custody. The crime victim or a deceased crime victim's surviving immediate family member shall be consulted and advised about plea bargaining by the prosecuting attorney;
2. To have their safety considered in fixing the amount of bail and release conditions for the defendant;
3. To be informed by the police, victim or witness counselor, or other criminal justice personnel of financial assistance and other social services available as a result of being a victim of crime, including information on how to apply for the assistance and services and the rights provided under this section;
4. To provide information to a probation official conducting a pre-sentence investigation concerning the impact of the offense on the crime victim or a deceased crime victim's surviving immediate family members, and any sentencing recommendations before the sentencing of the defendant;
5. To be notified in a timely manner of all public court proceedings related to an alleged offense, major developments in the case, as that term may be defined by law, and the final disposition of the case;
6. Upon request, to be informed by the paroling agency of all parole procedures; to be present at parole minimum hearings and provide a written statement or make oral comments; to provide information to the paroling agency to be considered before the parole of the offender and to be notified of the parole or other release of the offender;
7. To be afforded a fair opportunity to be heard on the issue of the defendant's disposition before a court imposes a sentence, and other opportunities for involvement in sentencing as may be provided by law;
8. To be afforded the opportunity to provide input for any process or deliberation that may result in the offender's post-conviction release from confinement, including any type of release by the principal department allocated by law with the power of public safety;
9. To be notified in a timely manner regarding any developments relating to the release, discharge, commitment or unauthorized absence of a defendant who was committed or involuntarily hospitalized as provided by law;
10. To be informed by the principal department allocated with the power of public safety of any planned changes 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;
11. Upon request, to have property expeditiously returned by law enforcement agencies when the property is no longer needed as evidence;
12. Upon request, to receive prompt restitution from the person or persons convicted of the criminal conduct that caused the crime victim's loss or injury;
13. To be treated with fairness and with respect for the crime victim's dignity and privacy;
14. To proceedings free from unreasonable delay; and
15. To be present at public court proceedings involving an alleged offense against the crime victim unless the court determines that the victim's presence would materially affect the victim's testimony.
In any court proceeding involving an offense against a crime victim, the court shall ensure that the crime victim or a crime victim's surviving immediate family members are afforded these rights.
The crime victim, the crime victim's lawful representative, or a deceased crime victim's surviving immediate family member, and any attorney for the State may assert and enforce the rights established by this section.
A crime victim's exercise of any rights granted by this section shall not be grounds for dismissing any criminal proceeding or setting aside any conviction or sentence.
This section does not create any cause of action for compensation or damages against the State, any political subdivision of the State, any officer, employee, or agent of the State or of any of its political subdivisions or any officer or employee of the court.
The legislature shall have the authority to enact substantive and procedural laws to define, implement, preserve and protect the rights guaranteed to victims by this section, including the authority to extend any of these rights to juvenile proceedings.
No right conferred by this section shall be construed to supersede the constitutional rights of any accused person or adjudicated offender."
SECTION 3. The question to be printed on the ballot shall be as follows:
"Shall crime victims and deceased crime victims' surviving immediate family members be afforded rights, including fair and respectful treatment throughout the criminal justice process; notification of public court proceedings, possible plea agreements and case dispositions; proceedings free from unreasonable delay; the opportunity to be present at public court hearings; the opportunity to speak at the sentencing hearing; financial reimbursement from the offender; and notification of the offender's release from custody, as provided by law?"
SECTION 4. New constitutional material is underscored.
SECTION 5. This amendment shall take effect upon compliance with article XVII, section 3, of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii.
Crime Victim Rights; Marsy's Law; Constitutional Amendment
Proposes a constitutional amendment to guarantee rights to victims of crimes and a deceased crime victim's surviving immediate family members. (SD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.