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Oral Arguments before the Hawai`i Supreme Court

NO. 26359 – Thursday, August 21, 2008 – 10:00 a.m.

STATE OF HAWAI`I, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. ALFRED J. ROMAN, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant.
(Abuse of Family and Household Member)

Attorney(s) for Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant(s)
Honorable John M. Tonaki, Public Defender, and Deborah L. Kim, Deputy Public Defender

Attorney(s) for Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee(s)
Honorable Jay T. Kimura, Prosecuting Attorney, and Mary Ann J. Hollocker, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, County of Hawai`i


[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief description:

Petitioner/defendant-appellant Alfred J. Roman’s application for a writ of certiorari to review the February 11, 2008 judgment of the Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA), entered pursuant to its January 22, 2008 summary disposition order (SDO), was accepted on June 4, 2008. In its SDO, the ICA affirmed the Family Court of the Third Circuit’s December 26, 2003 judgment, entered subsequent to a bench trial, convicting Roman of and sentencing him for “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly [causing] physical[] abuse” to the seventeen-year-old son of his girlfriend, in violation of Hawai`i Revised Statutes (HRS) ? 709-906(1) (Supp. 2005) (abuse of family and household members).

In his application, Roman argues that, although the ICA correctly concluded that the family court wrongly ruled that the parental discipline defense under HRS ? 703-309(1) (1993) was inapplicable to the instant case, it gravely erred in ultimately affirming his conviction. Specifically, Roman contends that the ICA gravely erred in holding that the family court’s erroneous refusal to apply the parental discipline defense was harmless based on its conclusion that respondent/plaintiff-appellee State of Hawai`i had adduced sufficient evidence at trial to negate the defense beyond a reasonable doubt. Further, Roman challenges the ICA’s conclusion that the family court’s exclusion of certain evidence, assuming it was error, was nevertheless harmless.