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Thursday, April 30, 2009
May 1 UPDATE: Karen's Law to be heard today
By Karen Ann Hunt @ 11:45 AM :: 11116 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment

FRIDAY May 1: DEADLINE TODAY TO PASS KAREN'S LAW OUT OF CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
 
            HONOLULU, Hawaii HB819, "Karen's Law," will be heard today at 11:00am in conference room 229. "Karen's Law" has passed out of both the House and the Senate and is now sitting in conference committee. A conference draft was agreed on yesterday in its third conference committee hearing. "Karen's Law" will need to pass out today in order for the bill to crossover and be voted on by a joint Senate and House Legislature. "I am happy to see "Karen's Law" come all this way. If passed, "Karen's Law" is one step in the right direction to not only update our archaic judicial system, but to put victims and victim's families first. It has been a grueling two years that my family and I have had to endure this pain. It is my hope that our elected officials continue to see the importance of getting this bill passed. We need to send a resignating message to potential crime offenders that we will no longer tolerate these heinous acts of crime," stated Malanie Mclellan, daughter of Karen Ertell. Malanie will be present at the hearing today to try and see HB819 through. 
            HB819, introduced by Representative Pine and Representative Mizuno, would have mandated that juveniles, 15-17 years of age charged with first degree, be automatically tried as an adult. As the law currently stands, juvenile crime offenders, charged with 1st or 2nd degree murder can face two trials, one to determine which court to try them in and then another trial to decide guilt or innocence. With its current amendment, HB819HD2SD2CD1 will continue to do the same. However, it will only be reflective of murder in the first degree.

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by Karen Ann Hunt

HONOLULU, HAWAII – HB819, "Karen's Law," will be heard today at 3:30pm in conference room 229. "Karen's Law" has passed out of both the House and the Senate and is now sitting in conference committee.

Although the bill has been heard three times, an agreement over the final draft has yet to be made. If Karen's Law does not pass out of committee today, tomorrow will be the final deadline for the bill to pass out so that it may be voted on by a joint Legislature.

"I hope Chair Taniguchi and the conferees will reach a compromise today and pass Karen's Law. It has been a long and uphill battle to try and get this bill through. My hope is that my mother, Karen Ertell, will not have died in vain and that her name will live on to protect future victims and their families," stated Melanie McLellan, daughter of Karen Ertell. Melanie will be present at the hearing in hopes that this bill will finally move from conference committee.

HB819, introduced by Representative Pine and Representative Mizuno, would have mandated that juveniles, 15-17 years of age charged with first degree, be automatically tried as an adult.

As the law currently stands, juvenile crime offenders, charged with 1st or 2nd degree murder can face two trials, one to determine which court to try them in and then another trial to decide guilt or innocence.

With its current amendment, HB819HD2SD2CD1 will continue to do the same. However, it will only be reflective of murder in the first degree.

On May 25, 2007, Karen Ertell was brutally raped and murdered in her home in Ewa Beach allegedly by her 15-year-old neighbor. Karen Ertell was the only real mother that her foster daughter, Melanie McLellan had ever known. Melanie was nine months pregnant with Karen's grandson.

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