Hawaii Legislative Year in Review: legislature wants judiciary to study penal code reform & making certain offenses civil infractions & putting Hawaiian language legal forms and documents on the judiciary’s website


HCR 155 & HR 93 Requests the Judicial Council convene committee to review Penal Code by

  1. Reviewing The American Law Institute Model Penal Code, including recent proposals; the criminal codes of other states; and other criminal law resources;
  2. Assessing the application of the principles of the “Justice Reinvestment in Hawaii: Analyses & Policy Options” report (August 2014) by the Council of State Governments Justice Center to code sections in which culpability is linked to a dollar value; and
  3. Analyzing whether grades and punishment are appropriate and proportionate to other sentences imposed for criminal or civil offenses and are cost-effective in deterring crime, reducing recidivism, and providing restitution to victims in a manner that provides equal justice and punishment regardless of socioeconomic class or ethnicity; and

HCR 217 & HR 152 Requests the judiciary conduct a feasibility study to examine the scope and cost of implementing Hawaiian language resources on the Judiciary’s public website, as well as legal forms and documents. Asks for study to include plan to ensure that updated information contained on the Judiciary’s public website contains the accurate, appropriate, and authentic Hawaiian language version of all documents. Asks for task force to identify the resources necessary to effectuate the purpose of this measure, such as manaleo, native Hawaiian speakers, who can provide services to timely ensure all information on the website is appropriately updated into the Hawaiian language, information technology software, and the cost of services and software.

SCR 98 Requests the judiciary conduct a study to identify traffic offenses and crimes, petty misdemeanor offenses, and misdemeanor offenses that cause a disproportionate workload for the judiciary and that may be appropriate for decriminalization as infractions.