ICYMI: “Advocates For Crime Victims Call For Enactment Of Marsy’s Law”
Marsy’s Law: Basic Rights For Crime Victims
Nonohe Bothelo used to help crime victims in her job at the City Prosecutors Office– before her son Joel became a victim.
The Kaneohe mother is now a member of a group called Parents of Murdered Children.
She’s now an advocate of stronger rights for crime victims and their families.
“I know what the process is, and we don’t always get notice of hearings, of sentencing, of judgments. We are lucky to be called when there is a verdict,” said Nonohe Bohelo.
Bothelo’s son was gunned down four years ago in her driveway.
It was initially thought to be a case of mistaken identity.
Bothelo said she couldn’t hug her son one last time before he was taken away. Joel died a day after his birthday.
A mother’s heartbreak is why she turned out for a hearing on getting Marsy’s Law enacted here.
“It ensures that they are notified and that they can be present and can be heard in certain proceedings and it and ensures that justice hears from them also,” said Meg Garvin of he National Crime Victim Law Institute.
But the bill is opposed by the attorney general’s office and public safety.
They maintain it could clog up the courts, make the problem of prison overcrowding even worse and adversely impact the criminal justice process.
“There is inconsistency in the bill in respect to remedies of violation of the rights,” said Deputy Attorney General Lance Goto.
The Paroling Authority and City Prosecutors’ Office support the intent of the bill but both have reservations about how it’s written.
Hawaii has a crime victims statute, but it is one of 18 states that have not made victim’s rights part of their constitution.
The House Judiciary committee deferred action on the bill Thursday afternoon.
A companion bill in the senate has yet to get a hearing.