Press Release : Calls to Convene a Special Session to Address a Criminal Justice and Public Safety Issue
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aiona/Tupaʻi Calls for the Ige/Green Administration to Convene a Special Session to Address a Criminal Justice and Public Safety Issue
HONOLULU, September 26, 2022 – The Hawaiʻi Supreme Court ruling in State v. Obrero limits a prosecutor’s ability to charge certain felony offenses, such as murder, sexual assault, kidnapping, and robbery, to Grand Jury Indictments.
As a result of this ruling, Hawaiʻi’s prosecutors have stated that hundreds of alleged felons, which include at least 25 murder and attempted murder and 40 robbery cases on Oahu, could be released into the community. However, this criminal justice and public safety emergency can be resolved through immediate legislative action.
Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that the Ige/Green administration convene a special session of our state’s legislature to propose, discuss, and pass legislation to resolve this issue. Special legislative sessions are reserved for specific issues such as court decisions like the Obrero case.
In light of the escalating criminal activity that has plagued our state, it is imperative that our prosecutors possess the necessary prosecutorial tools to maintain the public’s confidence in our criminal justice system and to ensure public safety, immediately, and not four months from today when the 2023 legislative session begins.
Now is the time for Governor Ige and Lieutenant Governor Green to provide the leadership that this situation requires and to effectively utilize the powers and responsibility of the executive branch of government. ###