Honolulu Lite


Monday, April 23, 2001

A killer
by any other name
still a killer

IT is one of those precious, "Only In Hawaii" moments. It concerns a guy who killed a 16-year-old girl and raped at least 12 women. In a different state, the discussion would be whether his execution should be televised or not. In Hawaii, it is whether he should be allowed day trips into the community. Unbelievable.

He is Abraham Paul Jordan, three names from the Bible. Except most people in Hawaii remember him as the less biblical Paul Luiz.

He's been locked up in the Hawaii State Hospital for 25 years. That's because although he was acquitted of murder by reason of insanity, our state isn't so crazy as to let people who kill other people roam free. At least not right away.

The good news, according to Jordan's attorney, is that the treatment has been a success. His client is cured! And because he actually wasn't convicted of anything anyway, he deserves a little freedom. Not complete freedom, mind you. Just unescorted trips off hospital grounds.

His lawyer points out that if Jordan had been convicted of murder, he probably would already be out on parole, which is one of those tricky lawyer-type arguments. Because the last place his lawyer wanted him to end up was in prison. In 25 years in the state hospital, Jordan has made that mystical transformation from killer to victim. Now the system is victimizing him, keeping him locked up.

The people of Hawaii should gamble that Jordan's A-OK and won't hurt anyone if released. Of course, the people of Hawaii took that gamble 25 years ago. Jordan admitted to sexually assaulting 12 to 14 women. While on release in connection with those incidents, he killed young Barbara Seibel.

The issue is not how long he's been locked up, or that he was acquitted by reason of insanity, or that he's been a good boy, or that he's cured or that had he been convicted of regular old murder, he'd be out. (Which, by the way, in a state like Texas, he wouldn't). It's not even a question of whether he'll hurt anyone else.

The issue is that he killed and raped. He's used up his mulligan, his get out jail free card.

If Jordan is cured, that's great. He now should understand the sheer horror of what he did. He should understand the trauma the families would feel if he were released. He should tell the people of Hawaii: "It took a long time, but I now understand the depth of your loss and the terrible things I did. Although legally, I may be entitled to leave the hospital to get a shave ice or catch a movie, out of respect for the young girl I killed and the women I injured, I will remain in this hospital, thankful to be alive, living a repentful, monk-like existence until I take my final breath."

That's what he should do. But he won't. Because, no matter what his name is now, he's still the most important person in his life.

There's an old country song that goes, "You hurt me once, shame on you. You hurt me twice, shame on me." Why should Hawaii be willing to take a third chance on this guy?

Alo-Ha! Friday compiles odd bits of news from Hawaii
and the world to get your weekend off to an entertaining start.
Charles Memminger also writes Honolulu Lite Mondays,
Wednesdays and Sundays. Send ideas to him at the
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-210,
Honolulu 96813, phone 235-6490 or e-mail

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