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“Joel’s Law” to Become Law in Hawaii – Broadens Offense of Murder One

Tomorrow at a bill signing ceremony at the Hawaii State Capital, Governor Ige will sign into law HB 1726, otherwise known as “Joel’s Law”.

HB 1726 broadens the offense of murder in the first degree to include cases in which the victim was restrained as a shield, hostage or for ransom or reward.

Joel Botelho's sons, Hayzn and Xaenon, look up at their father at the annual "Joel Bowl" football tournament held each year in Kaneohe to commemorate the anniversary of his death.

Joel Botelho’s sons, Hayzn and Xaenon, look up at their father at the annual “Joel Bowl” football tournament held each year in Kaneohe to commemorate the anniversary of his death.

Joel Botelho, an all-star quarterback for Castle High School, was shot and killed outside his parent’s home in 2011. His mother, Nonohe Botelho, worked with Vice Speaker Mizuno in drafting the bill and shepherding it through the legislative process.

“Under Hawaii statute convictions for First Degree Murder are rare because the criteria that needs to be met is quite limited.” Says Vice Speaker Mizuno. “As a result murders that are committed in a particularly heinous manner are often convicted of the lesser charge of second degree murder. A mother’s love of her child is the greatest love and it was my honor to work with Nonohe in crafting this piece of legislation.”

Joel Botelho’s sons, Hayzn and Xaenon, look up at their father at the annual “Joel Bowl” football tournament held each year in Kaneohe to commemorate the anniversary of his death.

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