Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Judicial board denies
Schutte a second term

She is the second female Big
Isle judge to be let go this year

By Rod Thompson

HILO >> Hilo District Judge Sandra Schutte has become the second female judge on the Big Island to be denied a second term this year by the state Judicial Selection Committee.

Circuit Judge Riki May Amano was not retained for a second 10-year term earlier, and she decided to retire, spending her last day on the bench Friday. She has been replaced in a temporary capacity by District Judge Terence Yoshioka.

Schutte confirmed that she withdrew her request for retention for a second six-year term yesterday after being informed she would not be allowed to keep the job.

Judges are generally not retained if too many lawyers or others complain about them, but the details of the complaints are not made known to the judges.

Schutte declined to comment at length, but she said she has worked to create new ways of dealing with defendants.

For example, she started a program for offenders with mental health problems which keeps them in the community but under supervision instead of sending them to the Hawaii State Hospital at Kaneohe.

Schutte's last day on the job will be June 1.

Her departure will leave the Big Island with no full-time female judges, although part-time District Judges Pua Brown and Barbara Takase will remain on call by the court.

They do not undergo periodic review as full-time judges do.

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