Act 81. It isn’t something Hawaii residents are all to familiar with. What is Act 81? Why should we care about it?
Act 81 is Hawaii’s attempt at a “3 Strikes” law. The law was intended to place a mandatory 30 year to life sentence for a third violent felony conviction. The law went into effect in 2006 but has only been used once by law enforcement. Act 81 is set to expire on July 1st of this year and debate has already broken out to decide the fate of the law. Honolulu City Prosecutor, Keith Kaneshiro, stated “it doesn’t appear to be needed.” Prosecutor Kaneshiro pointed out that the measure has only been enacted once since it’s inception.
Act 81 was passed in response to a similar law enacted by California in 1994. Currently, Act 81 is specifically written to punish those who have committed a violent felony.
For more information on Act 81 visit the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.