With the alarming rise in property crime, and the recent violent stabbing of a Kailua man, crime control is a primary concern this Legislative Session. Representative Cynthia Thielen (Kailua, Kaneohe Bay) recently drafted and co-introduced HB1520, HB1521 and HB1542 which will change the way our judicial system punishes repeat offenders.
HB1520 creates harsher penalties for repeat criminal offenders. Specifically, HB1520 purposes that repeat offenders, when the conviction is for a class A, B, or C felony, murder in the second degree, or attempted murder in the second degree, be sentenced to a mandatory minimum sentence without the possibility of parole.
Additionally, HB1521 creates a mandatory minimum sentencing period of imprisonment for any person who is convicted for and has a prior conviction or prior convictions for unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle in the first degree.
House Bill1542 has also been introduced to deal specifically with repeat offenders of property crime. HB1542 amends the sentencing options for habitual property crime by requiring that the offender serve the entire one-year term of imprisonment imposed as a condition of probation.
“Property crime in Hawaii constitutes ninety-two percent of all reported crime in Hawaii,” Representative Thielen said, adding that, “the law enforcement property crime conviction rate in 2012 was a mere 14 percent.”
Representative Thielen said, “House Bill 1542 aims to reduce recidivism among habitual property crime offenders by requiring that they serve prison time as a condition of probation. Given the overwhelming amount of crime committed by habitual offenders, these three major crime bills are of the upmost importance this Legislative Session.”
HB1520, HB1521, and HB1542 have passed the first House reading and been referred to the House Committee of Public Health and the House Judicial Committee for review.