Showing posts from September, 2012

Court Stripped of Discretion in Sentencing Meth Traffickers

State v. Casugay-Badiang (ICA August 21, 2012) OVERRULED Background. Rubin Ikoa Casugay-Badiang was charged with two counts of trafficking methamphetamine in the second degree (HRS § 712-1240.8). Each count carried a penalty of an indeterminate (or open) term of ten years prison, a mandatory minimum term of one to four years, and a fine u to $10,000. He pleaded guilty to both counts. At sentencing, Casugay-Badiang asked the circuit court to impose the lowest possible mandatory minimum: one year. The prosecution agreed. Casugay-Badiang had no prior convictions or even arrests and had admitted that he was selling meth to feed his own drug habit. The circuit court rejected both requests and sentenced Casugay-Badiang as a young offender to an open five with no mandatory minimum under HRS § 706-667. The circuit court provided a lucid and honest assessment of the issue: Okay. Um, sometimes, Counsel, the court asks you to indulge the court whether you want to or not. Just by way of