Testimony Needed for Tire Dumping & Witness Line-Up Bills on April 3

Tire Dumping Bill

Tomorrow — Tuesday, April 3, the House Finance Committee, Rep Marcus Oshiro, Chair, will be hearing SB 3006 at 6 PM. The bill “Reestablishes the motor vehicle tire surcharge. Establishes a task force which shall study ways to prevent or control the problem of abandoned tires. Effective July 1, 2012. (SB3006 HD1).”

Instructions for submitting testimony, along with other details about the bill, are to be found on the link below:

http://ntsvr7/eclipsereports/reports2012/reports/hearing_rpt.aspx?hearing_date=4/3/2012&commacro=FIN&timeframe=all

In your testimony, be sure to urge the committee to leave in the $1 per tire fee. At one point this was removed from bill, but was put back in by the House Energy & Environmental Protection Committee, chaired by Rep. Denny Coffman. The bill also calls for setting up a task force, which is good … but the Finance Committee needs to be convinced that the $1 fee is a very important part of the bill.

Witness Line-Up Bill

SB2304, which establishes common-sense protocols and procedures to make the witness identification process as fair as possible, is being heard by the House Finance Committee on Tuesday, 4/3/12. The bill requires HPD, when practicable, to use an officer who does not know which person is the suspect to run the line up. It also allows defense attorneys to argue that non-compliance with the procedures could be grounds to suppress evidence or claim mis-identification of suspects. Finally, it requires the Attorney General to train law enforcement officers on proper procedures for running witness identification line-ups.

Lawmakers have been moved by testimony concerning the large amount of falsely identified people who have suffered decades in jail for crimes they did not commit. The Alvin Jardine case in Maui is just one example, see: http://mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/545411/Jardine-ruling-a-first-for-legal-program.html?nav=10

SB2304 is a critically important bill because as it stands now, there is no penalty when law enforcement fails to follow proper and fair procedures during a witness line up. It is very difficult to overcome a positive witness identification when you are the accused, even if you are in fact innocent. This bill will hopefully help prevent more tragedies like what befell Alvin Jardine, who spent 20 years in jail for a crime he did not commit.

Here is a link to the bill’s status, including a link to submit testimony:

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=2304

If you have any questions, contact my aide, Wally Inglis, at 586-7793. Mahalo and please spread the word.

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