Maui’s Victims’ Rights Resolution Gains Unanimous Support
With unanimous backing from the Maui County Council, a resolution in support of victims’ rights is headed to the state legislature.
Those testifying in support of the council resolution say current laws lack enforcement of a basic bill of rights for victims and witnesses.
Among those testifying in support of the resolution was Kimberlyn Scott, mother of Carly “Charli” Scott–a Maui woman who was five months pregnant when she went missing in 2014. In March, Charli Scott’s ex-boyfriend was sentenced to life in prison for her murder.
Since a body was not recovered in the case, individuals testified that the small pieces of bone used as evidence were classified as property and reportedly remain with the court due to the potential for an appeal.
Supporters of the resolution say prosecutors should return the bones since they are considered property, but there is no clause for enforcement or consequences for non-compliance.
One testifier called current laws inadequate saying, “Maybe there’s a better solution than civil liability, or maybe a layering between before it gets to that’ but you still need civil liability so that victims can take it into their own hands. When it gets to that point, they’ve already been victimized at least twice–once by the crime, again by the prosecutor.”
The resolution urges the State Legislative Reference Bureau to report to the State Legislature on the level of enforcement for each County’s Victim Witness Assistance Program.