Oral Argument Before the Supreme Court

No. SCWC-11-0000802, Thursday, February 21, 2013, 9 a.m.

STATE OF HAWAI`I, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellant, vs. RUBIN IKOA CASUGAY-BADIANG, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellee.

The above-captioned case has been set for argument on the merits at:

Supreme Court Courtroom
Ali`iolani Hale
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

Attorney for Petitioner/Defendant-Appellee:

Summer M. M. Kupau, Deputy Public Defender

Attorney for Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellant:

James M. Anderson, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 01/02/13.

COURT: MER, CJ; PAN, SRA, SSM, & RWP, JJ.

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief Description:

Petitioner/Defendant-Appellee Rubin Ikoa Casugay-Badiang was convicted of violating Hawai`i Revised Statutes (“HRS”) § 712-1240.8, Methamphetamine Trafficking in the Second Degree, a class B felony. That statute provides:

Notwithstanding sections 706-620, 706-640, 706-641, 706-660, 706-669, and any other law to the contrary, a person convicted of methamphetamine trafficking in the second degree shall be sentenced to an indeterminate term of imprisonment of ten years with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of not less than one year, and not greater than four years and a fine not to exceed $10,000,000[.]

Rather than sentence Casugay-Badiang under HRS § 712-1240.8, the Circuit Court of the First Circuit concluded that it retained the discretion to sentence under HRS § 706-667, pertaining to Young Adult Defendants, which authorizes the following:

A young adult defendant convicted of a felony, in lieu of any other sentence of imprisonment authorized by this chapter, may be sentenced to a special indeterminate term of imprisonment [of five years for a class B felony] if the court is of the opinion that such special term is adequate for the young adult defendant’s correction and rehabilitation and will not jeopardize the protection of the public.

The ICA disagreed and remanded this case for sentencing under HRS § 712-1240.8, holding as follows:

HRS § 712-1240.8 clearly precludes the applicability of sentencing as a young adult defendant under HRS § 706-667 for cases involving methamphetamine trafficking in the second degree because HRS § 706-667 is contrary to HRS § 712-1240.8. The legislature intended to divest the circuit court of its discretion to sentence Casugay-Badiang under any sentencing statute other than HRS § 712-1240.8(3).

The ICA concluded that the circuit court “erred in disregarding the plain language of HRS § 712-1240.8.”

On certiorari, Casugay-Badiang challenges the ICA’s holding and argues that the court did not “undertak[e] a thorough analysis of the construction of both” HRS §§ 706-667 and 712-1240.8.

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