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House agrees to special session after Hawaiʻi Supreme Court ruling on felony charges

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More than two-thirds of the Hawaiʻi House of Representatives have agreed to convene a special session to address a Hawaiʻi Supreme Court decision handed down earlier this month.

Hawaiʻi's highest court ruled that a grand jury indictment is necessary to charge a person with a felony and evidence from a preliminary hearing is not enough.

County prosecutors say that is jeopardizing public safety as the decision impacts nearly 400 felony cases across the state. They have been calling for a special session of the Legislature to change the law.

Senate President Ron Kouchi issued a statement saying he would “formally reengage with our members to determine if we too have the two-thirds majority needed to convene.”

Lawmakers are working with county prosecutors to put together a bill that would address the issues raised in the court case State v. Obrero.

The Legislature can be called into special session by a two-thirds vote of both chambers, or by a unilateral decision by the governor, who has declined to take that action.

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