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Posted: Tuesday, July 9th, 2013 12:02 PM HST

Hawaii bill would allow for sentencing discretion

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) One of the bills Hawaii's governor plans to veto would allow judges discretion in setting aside mandatory minimum sentences for some felony drug cases.

The attorney general's office and various law enforcement agencies oppose the bill.

Those who support the measure say those cases usually involve nonviolent offenders.

State Sen. Maile Shimabukuro introduced the bill. She tells the Honolulu Star-Advertiser those people need treatment instead of prison time.

She says the bill would allow judges to consider other factors when deciding a sentence.

Community Alliance of Prisons Coordinator Kat Brady says mandatory minimum sentences hurt women. She says women have a lower rate of violent-crime convictions and a higher rate of drug-related convictions.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has until today to make a final decision on vetoes.



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