Honolulu prosecutor navigates court-related challenges

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Joining us in studio is Honolulu’s prosecuting attorney, Steve Alm, to cover recent challenges posed by court decisions affecting charging and detention and the past and future of a program he started while on the bench himself: HOPE Probation.

KHON2: One of the topics everybody has been watching for months now is the status of what has become known as the Obrero charges that had to be dropped. Those are folks that the Supreme Court case came down and they said, Sorry, you’ve got to go do the charges over. Where are we at with that? That was almost hundreds on Oahu alone.

STEVE ALM: Well, recently, the Supreme Court made another decision in Deangelo , and a crisis really was averted. It’s still a challenge. But, if they had ruled the other way, then all of these folks who are in custody that are waiting to go to grand jury would have to get released. And that was 92 at the time.

KHON2: Deangelo is that second case in which they challenged the fact that you were holding them awaiting the new charge.

ALM: Right, using a rule approved by the Supreme Court. And so now, if the defense files a motion to dismiss, it will get granted because it only went through preliminary hearing. But then, we asked the judge, could you hold the person under Rule 12 G while we go to Grand Jury and indict them?

GINA: Now, it is not a stay-in-jail-forever card.

ALM: Absolutely not. And ithe Supreme Court said you really have to have a great reason to go past 60 days. But that