HONOLULU, Hawaii – Karen’s Law moves out of Human Services and onto the Judiciary Committee. HB819 (Karen’s Law) passed with technical, non substantive amendments from all committee members as a HD1.

Malanie McLellan, the daughter of Karen Ertell, testified in favor of Karen’s Law and later stated, “We need to crack down on serious juvenile offences. We’re not talking about light crimes. We are talking about murder in the 1st or 2nd degree. You can make an excuse for virtually anything, but it comes down to knowing what is right and wrong and 15-17 year olds know the difference between right and wrong.” Malanie went on to state, “I am happy that the case is moving forward. My hope is that other families will not have to go through the trauma that we had to.”

Karen’s Law was introduced last year by Rep. Kymberly Pine, per request from the family of Karen Ertell, who was allegedly raped and murdered by her juvenile neighbor but failed to get a hearing by the Chair of Judiciary in 2008. Karen’s Law has been re-introduced by Rep. Kymberly Pine and Rep. John Mizuno and institutes that juveniles 15-17 years of age be tried as adults when charged with 1st or 2nd degree murder. A hearing date for the Judiciary Committee is pending. “We owe it to the victims’ families to provide the least amount of pain and suffering possible. Karen Ertell’s family has had to relive this murder one time too many.” Representative Pine further states, “If nothing else, Karen’s Law will save the taxpayer money by cutting the court proceedings down from two to one. In this tough economic time, all means to save money need to be looked at.” Contact Representative Kymberly Pine at 586-9730 or Sarah Hunt at 586-6516

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