4 GREAT bills coming up for hearings Wed & Thurs…

Pump UpCAP WATCH ACTION ALERT

 4 GREAT bills coming up for hearings Wed & Thursday…

 www.capitol.hawaii.gov – Click on SUBMIT TESTIMONY

 

1 bill in…

COMMITTEE ON OCEAN, MARINE RESOURCES & HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS
Rep. Faye Hanohano, Chair
Rep. Ty Cullen, Vice Chair

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
10:00 a.m.
Room 325

HB 218 CORRECTIONS POPULATION MANAGEMENT COMMISSION (CPMC).                                                       OMH, PBS, FIN
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/bills/HB218_.htm

OHA Package; Corrections Population Management Commission

Adds the OHA administrator and a member of the public, who is knowledgeable about issues relating to the criminal justice system and has substantial experience or expertise in traditional Native Hawaiian practices, to the corrections population management commission.

CAP POSITION: STRONG SUPPORT
·         Hawaiians are disproportionately represented in our incarcerated population
·         The objective of the CPMC  is to “establish maximum inmate population limits for each correctional facility and to formulate policies and procedures to prevent the inmate population from exceeding the capacity of each correctional facility”
·         Having more voices that speak about and consider ways of reducing our prison population is a good thing

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2 bills in…

COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY

Rep. Henry Aquino, Chair
Rep. Kaniela Ing, Vice Chair

Thursday, January 21, 2013
9:00 a.m.
Room 309

HB255   MEDICAL RELEASE PROGRAM; COMPASSIONATE RELEASE                                                            PBS, JUD,FIN
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/bills/HB255_.pdf

Requires the department of public safety to assess and refer inmates to the Hawaii paroling authority (HPA) for possible medical release. Allows an inmate to be considered for medical release at the request of the director, the inmate, or the inmate’s representative, if the inmate meets specified criteria. Requires the HPA to grant or deny the request after a hearing, to set reasonable conditions on an inmate’s medical release, and to promptly order an inmate returned to custody to await a revocation hearing if the HPA receives credible information that an inmate has failed to comply with any reasonable conditions of medical release.                                            AQUINO

CAP POSITION: STRONG SUPPORT

2009-2011 Department of Public Safety  data reveal:
37 Compassionate Releases Recommended
22 Compassionate Releases Approved
14 Compassionate Releases

·         Sick and elderly incarcerated persons would be placed on parole and supervised in the community
·         The recidivism rates for these folks is very low·         It is inhumane to make an individual who presents no threat to the community die alone in prison. I know of many people who have done so while their paperwork lingered on some bureaucrat’s desk. This is unconscionable.

Medical science has stepped up to address the problem:
The Annals of Internal Medicine
“Compassionate release consists of two entwined but distinct elements: eligibility (based on medical evidence) and approval (based on legal and correctional evidence) (4). We argue that the medical eligibility criteria of many compassionate-release guidelines are clinically flawed because of their reliance on the inexact science of prognostication, and additional procedural barriers may further limit rational application. Given that early release is politically and socially charged and that eligibility is based largely on medical evidence, it is critical that such medical evaluation be based upon the best possible scientific evidence and that the medical profession help minimize medical-related procedural barriers.”

A report released in January 2012 “Old Behind Bars”:
Human Rights Watch
“Life in prison can challenge anyone, but it can be particularly hard for people whose bodies and minds are being whittled away by age. Prisons in the United States contain an ever growing number of aging men and women who cannot readily climb stairs, haul themselves to the top bunk, or walk long distances to meals or the pill line; whose old bones suffer from thin mattresses and winter’s cold; who need wheelchairs, walkers, canes, portable oxygen, and hearing aids; who cannot get dressed, go to the bathroom, or bathe without help; and who are incontinent, forgetful, suffering chronic illnesses, extremely ill, and dying.”

Federal government statistics:
Bureau of Justice Statistics
The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports found that between 1995 and 2010, the number of state and federal prisoners age 55 or older nearly quadrupled (increasing 282 percent), while the number of all prisoners grew by less than half (increasing 42 percent). There are now 124,400 prisoners age 55 or older.

HB 273  WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT                                                                                                                    PBS, JUD, FIN
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/bills/HB273_.pdf

Crime; Wrongful Conviction and Imprisonment; Innocence Redress Provides compensation and services to persons who can demonstrate they were wrongfully convicted of a crime and imprisoned.

RHOADS (Introduced by request of another party)

 CAP POSITION: STRONG SUPPORT
·         Just as the state convicts and incarcerates those who cause harm, the state must be held accountable for the harm caused by wrongfully convicting and incarcerating an individual
·         22 states have statutes on the books to ensure restitution of those wrongfully convicted and imprisoned
·         In Hawai`i, a man on Maui was wrongfully convicted and incarcerated for more than20 years and was released with no help or support from the state
·         This is a justice issue…just as victims of crime fight for restitution, the victims of the state must also be compensated

***

1 bill in…

COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY AND MILITARY AFFAIRS

Sen. Will Espero, Chair
Sen. Rosalyn Baker, Vice Chair

COMMITTEE ON TECHNOLOGY AND THE ARTS

Sen. Glenn Wakai, Chair
Sen. Clarence Nishihara, Vice Chair

Thursday, January 31, 2013
2:50 p.m.
Room 224

SB 67     EYEWITNESS ID                                                                                                                                                 JDL

Criminal Procedure; Eyewitness Identification; Remedies
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/bills/SB67_.pdf

Creates procedural and administrative requirements for law enforcement agencies for eyewitness identifications of suspects in criminal investigations. Grants a defendant the right to challenge any eyewitness identification to    be used at trial in a pretrial evidentiary hearing. Takes effect 1/1/2014.         SHIMABUKURO

CAP POSITION: STRONG SUPPORT
·         75 % of exonerations in the U.S. are because of false eyewitness identification
·         Decade of science have proven that the mind is NOT A VIDEOCAMERA
·         Police Departments across the U.S. are changing their procedures/protocols to ensure that the guilty are convicted and the innocent are not
·         There is a plethora of data about the Exonerations Registry at Northwestern University and the role that false identifications have played
·         To ensure community trust, the police and prosecutors must make every effort to convict the right person

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