Murder and Domestic Violence on Hawaii Law Enforcement Legislative Radar
By Wendy Osher
Hawaii’s four county police chiefs joined forces with the Attorney General and Prosecutor’s office to present a legislative package to state lawmakers today. The coalition joined in introducing two bills designed to better protect the public from serious violent crimes and to protect victims of domestic violence.
Murder: Senate Bill 1229 and House Bill 1002, relating to Murder, seeks to amend Second Degree Murder charges to increase the accountability of those charged with the offense.
“Offenders who kill a person should not have the ability to avoid murder convictions by claiming they were only trying to cause serious injury, not death,” said Attorney General David Louie. “This bill will result in individuals being appropriately punished for their crimes, and will make it less likely that particularly violent offenders will be released early and allowed to kill again,” said Louie.
Domestic Violence: Senate Bill 1230 and House Bill 1003, relating to Domestic Violence, seeks to provide greater protection to victims of the crime by raising the seriousness of violent offenses committed against victims whom are under protective order.
“Victims of domestic violence who have the courage to seek help from the court system and the police must be protected,” said Louie. ” This bill will help to deter violence against this vulnerable class of victims. The bill will make it easier for the courts to prevent offenders from committing further violence,” said Attorney General David Louie.
The bill specifically raises the level of offense committed against those with protective orders. Thus, what was a misdemeanor assault, would become a felony; misdemeanor terroristic threatening would become felony terroristic threatening; manslaughter would become second degree murder; and second degree murder would become first degree murder under the proposed amendments when committed against victims who have obtained certain types of protective orders.