Washington v. Hawkins (Majority, Concurrence and Dissent)Annotate this Case
In 2012, Sabelita Hawkins pleaded guilty to felony harassment and second degree malicious mischief. In 2019, she moved to vacate those convictions under RCW 9.94A.640., which granted trial courts discretion to vacate certain felony convictions if the movant satisfies specific mandatory statutory prerequisites. In this case, the State and court agreed Hawkins met the mandatory statutory prerequisites. But the court denied the motion to vacate because of the severity of the crimes of conviction, despite undisputed evidence of Hawkins’ substantial and consistent rehabilitative actions. The Washington Supreme Court found the trial court abused its discretion: "he court must meaningfully consider evidence of mitigation and rehabilitation since the time of the crime and exercise its discretion based on its assessment of the extent of rehabilitation." Because the trial court placed singular focus on negative historical facts about the crimes and disregarded Hawkins’ uncontradicted evidence of rehabilitation and mitigation, judgment was reversed and the matter remanded for further consideration of Hawkins motion.