REPORT TITLE:
Crime Victims; Major Devts.


DESCRIPTION:
Amends the bill of rights for crime victims by amending the
definition of "major developments" to include unfitness to stand
trial, transfer to the state hospital or other pyschiatric
facility, or regaining fitness to proceed.  Gives victims the
choice to receive notification or not. (SB2142 HD1)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        2142
THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           S.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                H.D. 1
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT
RELATING TO RIGHTS OF VICTIMS AND WITNESSES IN CRIMINAL
   PROCEEDINGS.



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that under the basic bill
 
 2 of rights of crime victims and witnesses in chapter 801D, Hawaii
 
 3 Revised Statutes, victims and surviving immediate family members
 
 4 of crime, upon their written request, must be notified of "major
 
 5 developments" in the case and whenever the defendant or
 
 6 perpetrator is released from custody, provided that the crime
 
 7 charged is a felony.  This right of crime victims and their
 
 8 surviving immediate family members does not depend on whether the
 
 9 person has actually been convicted of that crime, since the term
 
10 "crime" is defined in that chapter as an act or omission
 
11 committed by an adult or juvenile that would constitute an
 
12 offense against the person under the Hawaii penal code.
 
13      However, the definition of "major developments" in that
 
14 chapter is vague with respect to whether that term includes such
 
15 events as a finding that the perpetrator is deemed unfit to stand
 
16 trial, has been transferred to the state hospital or other
 
17 psychiatric institution, or has been rehabilitated and
 
18 transferred back to the jurisdiction of the county for resumption
 
19 of penal proceedings upon regaining fitness to proceed.  While
 
20 the definition of that term includes "the disposition of the
 

 
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 1 case", this phrase arguably does not include these other
 
 2 developments.
 
 3      Consequently, a victim or surviving immediate family member
 
 4 of a felony may conceivably not be notified of a defendant's or
 
 5 perpetrator's acquittal and release if found unfit to proceed, or
 
 6 transfer to the state hospital or other facility, since these
 
 7 events are not specifically included in the definition of "major
 
 8 developments".  The legislature finds that these crime victims
 
 9 and their families should be notified under these circumstances,
 
10 and should be further notified of the date of the resumption of
 
11 penal proceedings, should the defendant or perpetrator be
 
12 subsequently deemed to be fit to proceed.
 
13      Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to:
 
14      (1)  Amend the definition of "major developments" to include
 
15           unfitness to stand trial, transfer to the state
 
16           hospital or other pyschiatric facility, or regaining
 
17           fitness to proceed; and
 
18      (2)  Give victims the choice to receive notification or not.
 
19      SECTION 2.  Chapter 801D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
20 amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated
 
21 and to read as follows:
 
22      "801D-    Notification not required.  Upon written request,
 
23 the victims and surviving immediate family members of crime shall
 

 
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 1 inform the police and the prosecuting attorney of any
 
 2 notification requirements the victims and surviving immediate
 
 3 family members of crime do not want to receive, but are entitled
 
 4 pursuant to section 801D-4."
 
 5      SECTION 3.  Section 801D-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
 6 amended by amending the definition of "major developments" to
 
 7 read as follows:
 
 8      ""Major developments" means arrest or release of the suspect
 
 9 by the police, case deferral by the police, referral to the
 
10 prosecutor by the police, rejection of the case by the
 
11 prosecutor, preliminary hearing date, grand jury date, trial and
 
12 sentencing dates, and the disposition of the case.
 
13      The term "major developments" includes the following events:
 
14      (1)  The defendant or perpetrator is acquitted or otherwise
 
15           found unfit to proceed on the ground of physical or
 
16           mental disease, disorder, or defect excluding
 
17           responsibility under chapter 704;
 
18      (2)  Following an acquittal or finding of unfitness to
 
19           proceed under paragraph (1), the defendant or
 
20           perpetrator is subsequently:
 
21           (A)  Released or otherwise discharged from custody; or
 
22           (B)  Committed to the custody of the director of health
 
23                for placement in an appropriate public or private
 
24                institution, including:
 

 
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 1                (i)  The state hospital established under section
 
 2                     334-31;
 
 3               (ii)  A psychiatric facility, special treatment
 
 4                     facility, or therapeutic living program, as
 
 5                     those terms are defined in section 334-1; or
 
 6              (iii)  Any other public or private facility or
 
 7                     institution, whether on an inpatient or
 
 8                     outpatient basis, for the care, custody,
 
 9                     diagnosis, treatment, or rehabilitation of
 
10                     that person;
 
11           or
 
12      (3)  The defendant or perpetrator has regained fitness to
 
13           proceed pursuant to section 704-406(2), including the
 
14           date on which the penal proceedings are to be resumed."
 
15      SECTION 4.  New statutory material is underscored.
 
16      SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.