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Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court — SCWC-20-0000075

Posted on Jul 2, 2021 in Uncategorized

No. SCWC-20-0000075, Friday, July 2, 2021, 10 a.m.

STATE OF HAWAIʻI, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. JOSHUA YAMASHITA, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant.

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

The oral argument will be held remotely and will be live streamed for public viewing via the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at

Attorney for Petitioner Yamashita:

Benjamin E. Lowenthal, Deputy Public Defender

Attorney for Respondent State:

Richard B. Rost, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 04/08/21.

COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., Nakayama, McKenna, Wilson, and Eddins, JJ.

[  Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format  ]

Brief Description:

Defendant-Appellant/Petitioner Joshua Yamashita was convicted of various theft and property damage-related crimes. In addition to an open term of imprisonment, the circuit court ordered Yamashita to pay a Crime Victims Compensation (“CVC”) fee pursuant to HRS §§ 706-605(6) and 351-62.6, and a Drug Demand Reduction (“DDR”) assessment pursuant to HRS § 706-650.

On certiorari, Yamashita argues that the circuit court and the ICA erred in finding that he would be able to pay the CVC fee given his financial circumstances, health, age, and employment prospects. He also contends that the CVC fee and DDR assessment amount to unconstitutional taxes under the test established by this court in State v. Medeiros, 89 Hawaiʻi 361, 973 P.2d 736 (1999), and that the circuit court and ICA erred in (1) declining to apply the Medeiros test and (2) upholding the constitutionality of the CVC fee and DDR assessment.