by Karen Hunt
Karen’s Law will be heard in conference committee Wednesday at 3:00pm in room 229. Please send testimonies in support of HB819 to the email addresses listed below. The following conferees will be in the hearing to decide whether or not Karen’s Law will be passing out to be voted on by the Senate and House: House Conferees: Representatives Mizuno/Karamatsu/M. Oshiro, Co-Chairs; B. Oshiro, Pine (HUS, JUD, FIN) Senate Conferees: Senators Chun Oakland, Chair; Taniguchi, Co-Chair; Slom (HMS, JGO).
If Karen’s Law moves out of the conference committee, it will then go for a final vote in a joint-legislature. These will be the last two steps in having HB819 go before both the Senate and the House.
"Karen's Law" was killed in Judiciary last year by Tommy Waters. HB819, introduced by Representative Pine and Representative Mizuno, would mandate that juveniles, 15-17 years of age charged with first or second degree murder, be automatically tried as an adult. "Karen's Law," would save the taxpayers' money in facing this financial deficit by cutting court proceedings down from two to one and help the families in their grieving process. As the law currently stands, juvenile crime offenders, charged with 1st or 2nd degree murder can face two trials, one to determine which court to try them in and then another trial to decide guilt or innocence.
On May 25, 2007, Karen Ertell was brutally raped and murdered in her home in Ewa Beach. Karen Ertell was the only real mother that her foster daughter, Melanie McLellan had ever known. She described Karen Ertell as a giving, loving person who saw the best in people, and who was a vibrant woman whose life was very full Melanie was nine months pregnant with Karen's grandson. Her senseless murder also left behind her loving partner Kevin Callahan, her heart-broken mother and family, and hundreds of friends and business associates.
Please email the following Legislators:
Representative John Mizuno: email@example.com
Representative Blake Oshiro: firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Marcus Oshiro: email@example.com
Representative John Karamatsu: firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Sam Slom: senslom@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland: senchunoakland@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Senator Brian Taniguchi: sentaniguchi@Capitol.hawaii.gov