Local Connection: Behind Bars? - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: Behind Bars?

By Rick Blangiardi

We depend on our criminal justice system to keep us safe - by solving crimes…putting violent criminals behind bars and keeping them there until they are no longer a danger.

But something is broken in that crucial system in Hawaii. People suspected of brutal killings are being allowed to remain free - without bail or law enforcement supervision to keep an eye on them.

This most recently happened last week when a drifter arrested for the stabbing of 70-year-old newspaper seller was released by Honolulu police without charges.

Meanwhile…a woman arrested for allegedly using her car to kill a motorcyclist two months ago has still not been charged.

It's not just an Oahu issue…its happened on the Big Island and on Maui…where the worst case scenario apparently happened … a young man arrested for the death of his aunt…is now charged with killing his mother nine weeks later.

What is going on here?

We hear lots of reasons:

That court deadlines don't leave police enough time to investigate. That prosecutors are demanding more evidence before they will take the case to court. That scientific evidence like DNA takes too long to analyze.

None of these excuses holds water…especially when someone's life has been taken.

Whatever it takes should be done -- new laws…more resources…or more training.

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