HONOLULU (KHON2) — Prosecutors are scrambling to prevent the release of dozens of suspects in violent crimes. This comes a week after a supreme court ruling.

Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm said, so far, no one has been released from custody but his office is playing catch up.

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“We have over 160 serious felonies that went through the preliminary hearing process and that we now have to go back to grand jury,” he explained. “These are serious cases, 25 murder and attempted murder cases, 40 robberies, a number of sex assaults in the first degree.”

Last week, the supreme court ruled preliminary hearings unlawful for suspects charged with a class A felony, they must be indicted by a grand jury.

This created a logistical nightmare for the courts already backlogged.

First Circuit Court currently holds three grand jury sessions a week, one on Wednesday and two on Friday. Alm said they’ll need to schedule additional sessions in order to keep up with the caseload.

A spokesperson for the judiciary said they will add a fourth grand jury session each week starting September 26th.

Defense attorneys, like Victor Bakke, are already filing motions to dismiss charges for their clients.

Bakke said he expects his clients charges to be dismissed. But added that their rights are being violated.

“The problem that we have with that is people are being held illegally, their charges are no longer valid,” Bakke said.

According to Alm, state law gives the judge the right to hold a defendant in custody.

“Rule 12G says that if a charge is dismissed because of the way it was brought or a defect in the charge, the court can then have the person held for a specified period of time, while charges are refiled,” Alm said.

KHON: “Who determines that period of time?”

“Up to the judge,” Alm replied.

“Prosecutors and the court are looking at public safety and the defense attorneys are only looking at their clients interest in wanting to get out of jail,” Alm said.

Alm is confident the legislature will amend the statute.

“If it gets started the third week in January, it would be mid-February at the absolute fastest,” Alm explained. “That’s five months away. That’s a lot of cases that have to go to grand jury.”

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Alm said he hopes they convene a special session sooner rather than later.