Carlisle reflects on career as City Prosecutor - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Carlisle reflects on career as City Prosecutor

Peter Carlisle Peter Carlisle

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email 

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For over a decade Peter Carlisle has been a voice for victims.

When he took over the Honolulu Prosecutor's office in 1996, reported crimes numbered 59,000.

"We're now down to something like 32,000 or 33,000 reported crimes. So there has been a dramatic decrease in criminal activity," he said.

During his tenure Carlisle prosecuted highly publicized cases and criminals.

In 1999 Byran Uyesugi shot and killed seven of his co-workers at the Xerox building. He got a life sentence without parole.

"There was a lot of pressure to make sure that we got that case tried and tried correctly," Carlisle said. "It was a relief when he was convicted."

In 2002, Carlisle won a guilty verdict against Clyde Arakawa, a cop who drove drunk and killed Dana Ambrose.

Then in 2008 he put Kirk Lankford behind bars for murdering Japanese visitor Masumi Watanabe.

"It was clear that this was a guy that was very sociopathic, at least in terms of the way that he behaved and thought," Carlisle said.

Outside the courtroom Carlisle won the fight to get suspects charged using documents instead of witnesses.

He said police, fellow prosecutors and the public helped him do his job.

"Representing people who have been injured, hurt, killed by crime, it feels real good to help them in any way you can," Carlisle said. "The work here is done to the extent that I could do it. Now it's time for younger people to take over."

Carlisle said he only expected to be the head prosecutor for eight years.

It turned out to be fourteen.

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