State Rep. Bud Stonebraker, R-Hawaii Kai, says it is time the state gets tough on crime.
He and other Republicans in the state Legislature have called on the Democrat majority in the House and Senate to amend current legislation to allow the debate and passage of a “3-strikes” law in Hawaii. Republicans have fought for several Legislative sessions to get a 3-strikes law passed, and say Hawaii must immediately wage a “war on crime” by passing such legislation this session.
Also supporting the intent of the legislation are the governor, the state attorney general, the U.S. attorney, other law enforcement leaders and the majority of the public. Not in support are the Democrats in the House and Senate who say they do not want to rush the process and would rather study the issue further and convene a taskforce to do so. They say they are concerned people who have been convicted of “victimless” crimes could be unfairly put away for life.
However, Stonebraker and other Republicans say the Three Strikes law in Hawaii could be crafted so a prosecutor has the option to seek a life sentence for career criminals convicted of their third felony, including one felony involving violence against an individual, Stonebraker says.
He maintains Hawaii residents and visitors would have benefited many times over from a reduction in crime, including violent crime, should a law have been passed earlier in Hawaii. He points to the most recent murder in Hawaii, which took place on Saturday, March 29, where Emmanuel Tunoa, a career criminal with a previous murder conviction and 56 arrests, allegedly shot to death another male victim.
Citing statistics from California that show 60 percent of the crimes are committed by 6 percent of the criminals, and that by passing 3-Strikes, California reduced its crime rate by more than 40 percent, Stonebraker says by putting violent criminals in jail for life will make Hawaii safer. He says Hawaii, the “Aloha state,” must be a safe place to live and visit, or not just the victims will suffer –