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August 2013 Archives

Hawaii Juvenile Drug Courts Save Money and Help Youthful Offenders Build New Lives

Established in 1995, the Hawaii Drug Court program was created to provide options outside of the criminal justice system to first-time, non-violent drug offenders. While the program has successfully helped many drug offenders, it did not address the special needs of youthful offenders. In an effort to provide a greater chance for errant children to move toward bright futures, the Juvenile Drug Courts (JDC), established in 2001, address many concerns, including: 

Must Hawaii State and Federal Judges Follow Strict Sentencing Rules for Criminal Convictions?

Both state and federal judges use sentencing guidelines to help determine the length of incarceration and the amount of fines to impose on convicted offenders. However, judicial discretion also comes into play and specific laws can also alter the guidelines used to determine sentences. 

Supreme Court Rules on Post-Conviction Challenges to Death Sentences

How does this affect the rights of the mentally incompetent?

In January of this year, the United States Supreme Court ruled, in effect, that even if a Death Row inmate is found to be so mentally incompetent as to be unable to contribute to his or her appeals of the sentence, it is no grounds for an automatic stay of execution. This surprisingly unanimous decision calls into question how our justice system treats the mentally incapacitated, particularly when their lives are literally on the line.

The Police and Perjury

What drives cops to lie under oath?

Police officers swear to protect the public and uphold the law. It stands to reason that these vows should hold true in the courtroom as well as on the street. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, particularly when police officers take it upon themselves to decide who is guilty before a judge and jury can decide.

Legal Associations

  • HSBA Hawaii State Bar Association
  • Judiciary State Of Hawaii
  • Rated by Super Lawyers Myles S. Breiner SuperLawyers.com
  • United States District Court, Northern District of California
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