Articles Posted in Hawaii Supreme Court

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Respondent Cedric Kikuta was convicted by a jury for assault in the third degree after a physical altercation with his stepson. Respondent appealed, arguing that the court erred in failing to instruct the jurors on the parental discipline defense and on whether the assault in the third degree occurred during the course of a scuffle, or affray, entered into by mutual consent. The court of appeals (1) held that the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury on the parental discipline defense and (2) chose not to address Respondent's argument regarding a mutual affray instruction. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the appellate court regarding the parental discipline defense but vacated the judgment as to the lack of disposition regarding a mutual affray instruction. The Court held that (1) an instruction on the parental discipline defense is not per se precluded by the fact that substantial bodily injury occurred; (2) an instruction on the parental discipline defense must be given if there is some evidence to support each element of the defense; and (3) a mutual affray instruction must be given where there is some evidence the injury was inflicted during a fight entered into by mutual consent. View "State v. Kikuta" on Justia Law