It would seem apparent that a great number of criminal defendants lack the resources and understanding necessary to determine whether the sentences listed in a PSI are valid. “Time and time again, the cases indicate that lay persons are typically unaware of the nature and import of court procedures.” Sinagoga, 81 Hawaiʻi at 437, 918 P.2d at 244 (Acoba, J., dissenting). “Because defense counsel does not have equal access to court records” it is “far more burdensome on the defense to search out each and every conviction on the defendant’s record.” Shirley M. Cheung, Note, State v. Sinagoga: The Collateral Use of Uncounseled Misdemeanor Convictions in Hawaiʻi, 19 U. Haw. L. Rev. 813, 841 (1997) (hereinafter Misdemeanor Convictions).
State v. Kong, 131 Haw. 94, 118 n.11, 315 P.3d 720, 744 (2013).
Hence, this case exemplifies the questionable basis for placing the burden of raising a good faith objection on a defendant. Aside from the probation department, because “the [prosecution] is obviously the only party which can define that part of a defendant’s criminal record it will use to support it’s request for [enhanced] sentencing,” the prosecution should be the party most responsible for confirming the validity of those sentences. Sinagoga, 81 Hawaiʻi at 435, 918 P.2d at 242 (Acoba, J., dissenting). “It [is] rational, logical, and efficient to [***87] require the proponent of any evidence of a prior conviction to ascertain its validity and to carry the burden of going forward with proof in that regard.” Id.; accord Cheung, Misdemeanor Convictions, at 841.
Id. at 120, 315 P.3d at 746.