Local Connection: Saito's Escape

Local Connection: Saito's Escape

If feels like every week something happens in Hawaii that makes embarrassing national headlines.

Last week it was the escape of state hospital patient Randall Saito – a confessed killer who doctors called a psychopath.

Despite not being allowed off the hospital property, he managed to acquire a fake ID, cash cellphones and even plane reservations. He was in California before the state hospital even called the police.

Even before his escape, Saito was a high-profile story, both for the brutal murder he in 1979, and the way a judge ignore the experts to acquit him. In the State Hospital, he managed to get married twice and have affairs with staff. Not the way we expect killers to be treated.

A day after the event, State Hospital officials were unable and unwilling to answer basic questions about how Saito could have managed the escape. The governor expressed his displeasure the next day and several employees were put on leave. But how much you want to bet no one is ever really held accountable?

This fiasco is the result of another state agency that has neglected a key part of its mission, and only now is taking seriously the potential damage from this kind of failure.

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