Crime and punishment at the state Legislature

Sentence people who sell toy guns to minors to up to 90 days in jail. Make it a criminal trespass offense to enter public housing without a visitor’s pass. Add a felony for inflicting substantial injury upon a pregnant woman.

Legislation for each of these ideas was introduced at the 2011 Hawai‘i Legislature. While none passed, all remain alive for the 2012 session.

A Civil Beat analysis counted about 150 crime and punishment measures, or roughly 5 percent of all bills introduced this year. They show that some lawmakers think it’s important to be tough on crime. Many want to create new offenses and establish more and greater penalties.

Read the whole story at Civil Beat.

• Honolulu Civil Beat is an online news source serving Hawai‘i. Read more at


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