Hawaii Measure Aims To Encourage Guilty, No Contest Pleas In Domestic Violence Cases

Article here. Excerpt:

'Advocates for victims in Hawaii domestic violence cases are backing a proposal to reduce certain domestic violence cases from felonies to misdemeanors.
One women's caucus bill would make it easier to prosecute certain domestic violence cases as misdemeanors. The change would speed up the conviction and sentencing of offenders by giving the defendants incentives to plead guilty or no contest to the charges.

Puna state Rep. Joy San Buenaventura introduced the bill. She says when abusers ask for a jury trial, the process takes longer, putting a burden on abuse victims.

“If the victim fails to show up twice in a row, what prosecutors tell me is those cases are being dismissed without prejudice, which means they can be refiled but the process goes all over again,” she said. “The idea behind what we’re trying to do is to give them a carrot to allow them to still be in the system but not require the victim to show up in every instance.”'

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