Hawaii Felony Prosecutions by Written Information Act, Question 3 (2002)
|Hawaii Question 3|
Text of measure
The language that appeared on the ballot:
Article I, section 10, of the State Constitution requires that felony prosecutions be initiated in two ways: (1) by grand jury indictment or (2) upon the filing of a complaint following a preliminary hearing. Hearsay testimony is not allowed and probable cause must be established through the testimony of witnesses.
This measure proposes to amend the Constitution to allow a third method of initiating a felony prosecution. This third method will allow the initiation of felony prosecutions by written information. This involves the submission to the court of a document, also known as a "written information," that is similar to a complaint and that is supported by affidavits and other documentary evidence. If a judge finds probable cause based upon the written information, a warrant is issued and the case proceeds to trial. This method of initiating a felony prosecution is being used in ten other states.
The proposed amendment permits prosecutors and the Attorney General to initiate felony criminal charges by filing a written information signed by the prosecutor or the Attorney General setting forth the charge, in accordance with procedures and conditions to be provided by the State Legislature. The method of filing criminal felony charges through a written information will be in addition to the existing methods of grand jury indictments and preliminary hearings.