Peter Carlisle stepped down this year as Honolulu’s city prosecutor after 14 years on the job to run for mayor. Continued success in reducing Oahu crime during the two years remaining on his term is best achieved by going forward with what is working well. Carlisle says he will vote for senior deputy prosecuting attorney Franklin "Don" Pacarro Jr. to be his successor, and we urge other voters to make that same choice to head the office.
Pacarro is a career criminal prosecuting attorney, having joined the Honolulu prosecutor’s office 24 years ago fresh out of the University of Hawaii law school. During those years, he has prosecuted more than 80 cases, including 40-plus homicide cases. He has earned respect through the ranks of prosecuting attorneys.
In recent years Pacarro has been chief of the trials division, supervising more than 25 deputy prosecutors handling felony and other jury trials while taking on some of the cases himself.
He obtained a conviction in 1995 of two teenagers for the beating of a man in a Waipahu park, prompting legislators to lower the age that juveniles may be prosecuted as adults.
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Last year, Pacarro obtained a conviction and 10-year sentence of the leader of a copper theft ring that had taken in more than a half million dollars while darkening highways.
Pacarro says his top priority will be to ensure that Honolulu continues to be the nation’s safest city of more than 500,000 population, according to FBI statistics.
He recognizes drug crimes, especially those involving methamphetamine, as the No. 1 problem, and says he will continue to work with state, federal and local law enforcement agencies in tracking down and putting drug dealers behind bars.
In the plurality winner-take-all nonpartisan election, Pacarros is challenged by two former prosecutors: Keith Kaneshiro, a two-term city prosecutor from 1988 to 1996; and Darwin Ching, deputy prosecutor under Charles Marsland and Kaneshiro. Both say they would take a different approach toward drug crimes, among other things – but Pacarro’s strength is that he would follow the same track that has been effective for Honolulu under Carlisle.