Guest Contributor

Ben Lowenthal

Ben Lowenthal grew up on Maui. He earned his undergraduate degree studying journalism at San Francisco State University and his law degree at the University of Kansas. He is a deputy public defender on Maui practicing criminal defense in trial and appellate courts. He previously wrote “The State of Aloha” column at The Maui News. He is a deputy public defender practicing criminal defense in trial and appellate courts. He also runs “Hawaii Legal News,” a blog covering Hawaii appellate courts. You can reach him at ben.lowenthal@civilbeat.org.

Ben Lowenthal: We Need Housing, But Not At The Expense Of Local Culture And History David Croxford/Civil Beat/2024

Ben Lowenthal: We Need Housing, But Not At The Expense Of Local Culture And History

Plans for converting Honolulu's Bethel Block into affordable housing won't make a dent in the shortage any time soon.

Ben Lowenthal: Many States Are Moving To Shorten Probation Periods. Hawaii Isn’t One Of Them Provided: Alcohol Monitoring Systems Inc.

Ben Lowenthal: Many States Are Moving To Shorten Probation Periods. Hawaii Isn’t One Of Them

Lengthy probation periods can be detrimental to families and community and to chances of reintegrating offenders.

Ben Lowenthal: Hawaii’s Local Identity Is Distinctive But Hard To Pin Down Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2024

Ben Lowenthal: Hawaii’s Local Identity Is Distinctive But Hard To Pin Down

The Unity March in Lahaina was a reflection of both Native Hawaiian values and the unique culture of the Valley Isle.

Ben Lowenthal: Hawaii’s History Shows That Sometimes The Insurrectionists Win Nick Grube/Civil Beat/2021

Ben Lowenthal: Hawaii’s History Shows That Sometimes The Insurrectionists Win

Instigators of the 1893 coup against the Hawaiian monarchy would go on to hold prominent office.

Ben Lowenthal: Peter Ohashi Gracefully Rode Maui’s Waves Of Change Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat/2023

Ben Lowenthal: Peter Ohashi Gracefully Rode Maui’s Waves Of Change

The life story of the longtime Upcountry resident personifies the need to embrace the ups and downs of the Valley Isle.

Ben Lowenthal: Local News Outlets Need To Stop Feeding Off Low-Level Crime Kevin Fujii/Civil Beat/2023

Ben Lowenthal: Local News Outlets Need To Stop Feeding Off Low-Level Crime

Traditional coverage relies on publicly shaming people who have been arrested but haven't been convicted of a crime.

Ben Lowenthal: We’re Failing Our Community When We Banish Prisoners To The Mainland Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Ben Lowenthal: We’re Failing Our Community When We Banish Prisoners To The Mainland

Justice Thurgood Marshall called banishment a "unique and severe deprivation," but Hawaii shows no indication of stopping.

Ben Lowenthal: Hawaii Prosecutors Need To Be Willing To Scrutinize Convictions Civil Beat Photo Kevin Dayton/2023

Ben Lowenthal: Hawaii Prosecutors Need To Be Willing To Scrutinize Convictions

The number of exonerations is growing around the nation, and that trend could become increasingly costly for taxpayers.

Ben Lowenthal: Halloween Without Front Street Was No Halloween At All Courtesy: Bryan Berkowitz/2019

Ben Lowenthal: Halloween Without Front Street Was No Halloween At All

Although controversial, Halloween in old Lahaina town became the biggest street party on Maui, as well as the subject of lawsuits.