DOWN TO THE WIRE
Here for the bill and talking points.
THE CONVERSATION (with Beth Ann Kozlovich)
Kat Brady talking about SB 68
Bill seeks leeway for judges in felony drug cases
Jul 08, 2013 (The Honolulu Star-Advertiser – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) —
“Opponents of a proposal to grant judges discretion in setting aside mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders in certain Class B and Class C felony cases say the law would apply in only a small number of cases.
To supporters of the measure, that’s all the more reason Gov. Neil Abercrombie should sign the bill into law.
“We know that it’s a manini kind of small step, but it’s the best that we’ve been able to do in decades,” said Kat Brady, coordinator for the Community Alliance on Prisons. “What we need to do is show the prosecutors that the sky isn’t going to fall, that we’re not opening the gates of hell.
“This is basically turning discretion over to the courts, and it’s not even an elimination of mandatory minimums. It’s just a lessening.”
The proposal, Senate Bill 68, is among nine bills identified by the governor for a potential veto. Abercrombie informed the Legislature on June 24 of nine bills that he is considering rejecting by Tuesday, the veto deadline.
Like all measures on the veto list, SB 68 had advocates and opponents arguing their case before the administration. Abercrombie also has the option of letting the bill become law without his signature…”