Federal judge David Ezra has hit on a clever way out - well half-wayout - of a situation that was doing no one any good.
Convicted of nothing, Hawaiian sovereignty advocate Dennis "Bumpy"Kanahele was jailed from Aug. 2, when he was charged with harboring a fugitive,found to be a flight risk and a danger to the community, and denied bail.
After his mistrial last month, he was ordered to stay in jail until hisnext trial, in January.
That only contributed to the substantial mileage Kanahele's supporters getfrom arguing that he is being persecuted on a minor, months-old beef onlybecause of his politics.
They also made a strong case for his release on bail. It seemed increasinglylikely that he'd show up for court because so many of his friends and relationshad put up their own funds - not to mention OHA trustee Frenchy DeSoto'schildren and grandchildren - for his bond.
As to his danger to the community, we're not entirely sold that Kanahelehas totally renounced violence since he pointed a firearm at a police officerin 1987.
But his supporters argue correctly that other defendants accused of violence,including homicide, are out on bail. So why not Kanahele?
With the wisdom of Solomon, Judge Ezra ordered Kanahele's release by day,but he must stay in a Honolulu half-way house at night, and stay away fromWaimanalo, where his supporters have settled.
The judge was right: Any further detention would not "serve any usefulpurpose." In fact, quite the opposite.
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