House Joint Resolution 87--Referred to the Electorate of Oregon by the 1999 Legislature to be voted on at the Special Election, November 2, 1999.

BALLOT TITLE


69

AMENDS CONSTITUTION: GRANTS VICTIMS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS IN CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS, JUVENILE COURT DELINQUENCY PROCEEDINGS.
RESULT OF "YES" VOTE: "Yes" vote grants victims specified constitutional rights in criminal prosecutions, juvenile court delinquency proceedings.

RESULT OF "NO" VOTE: "No" vote leaves victims without specific constitutional rights in criminal prosecutions, juvenile court delinquency proceedings.

SUMMARY: Amends Constitution. Currently, Constitution does not grant specific rights to victims in criminal prosecutions or juvenile court delinquency proceedings, although there are statutory rights. Measure places specific victims' rights in Constitution, including the right to: be present at, and on request to advance notice of, open court proceedings when defendant will be present; be heard at pretrial release hearing, sentencing and juvenile court delinquency disposition; obtain information on request about conviction, sentence, imprisonment, criminal history and release of defendant or youth offender; prompt restitution from convicted criminal; refuse certain discovery requests; be consulted about certain plea negotiations; receive certain transcripts.

ESTIMATE OF FINANCIAL IMPACT: No financial effect on state or local government expenditures or revenues.


TEXT OF MEASURE

Be It Resolved by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon:

    PARAGRAPH 1. The Constitution of the State of Oregon is amended by creating a new section to be added to and made a part of Article I, such section to read:
    (1) To preserve and protect the right of crime victims to justice, to ensure crime victims a meaningful role in the criminal and juvenile justice systems, to accord crime victims due dignity and respect and to ensure that criminal and juvenile court delinquency proceedings are conducted to seek the truth as to the defendant's innocence or guilt, and also to ensure that a fair balance is struck between the rights of crime victims and the rights of criminal defendants in the course and conduct of criminal and juvenile court delinquency proceedings, the following rights are hereby granted to victims in all prosecutions for crimes and in juvenile court delinquency proceedings:
    (a) The right to be present at and, upon specific request, to be informed in advance of any critical stage of the proceedings held in open court when the defendant will be present, and to be heard at the pretrial release hearing and the sentencing or juvenile court delinquency disposition;
    (b) The right, upon request, to obtain information about the conviction, sentence, imprisonment, criminal history and future release from physical custody of the criminal defendant or convicted criminal and equivalent information regarding the alleged youth offender or youth offender;
    (c) The right to refuse an interview, deposition or other discovery request by the criminal defendant or other person acting on behalf of the criminal defendant provided, however, that nothing in this paragraph shall restrict any other constitutional right of the defendant to discovery against the state;
    (d) The right to receive prompt restitution from the convicted criminal who caused the victim's loss or injury;
    (e) The right to have a copy of a transcript of any court proceeding in open court, if one is otherwise prepared;
    (f) The right to be consulted, upon request, regarding plea negotiations involving any violent felony; and
    (g) The right to be informed of these rights as soon as practicable.
    (2) This section applies to all criminal and juvenile court delinquency proceedings pending or commenced on or after the effective date of this section. Nothing in this section reduces a criminal defendant's rights under the Constitution of the United States. Except as otherwise specifically provided, this section supersedes any conflicting section of this Constitution. Nothing in this section is intended to create any cause of action for compensation or damages nor may this section be used to invalidate an accusatory instrument, ruling of a court, conviction or adjudication or otherwise suspend or terminate any criminal or juvenile delinquency proceedings at any point after the case is commenced or on appeal.
    (3) As used in this section:
    (a) "Convicted criminal" includes a youth offender in juvenile court delinquency proceedings.
    (b) "Criminal defendant" includes an alleged youth offender in juvenile court delinquency proceedings.
    (c) "Victim" means any person determined by the prosecuting attorney to have suffered direct financial, psychological or physical harm as a result of a crime and, in the case of a victim who is a minor, the legal guardian of the minor. In the event that no person has been determined to be a victim of the crime, the people of Oregon, represented by the prosecuting attorney, are considered to be the victims. In no event is it intended that the criminal defendant be considered the victim.
    (d) "Violent felony" means a felony in which there was actual or threatened serious physical injury to a victim or a felony sexual offense.

    PARAGRAPH 2. The amendment proposed by this resolution shall be submitted to the people for their approval or rejection at a special election held throughout this state on the date specified in section 2, chapter _____, Oregon Laws 1999 (Enrolled House Bill 2354).

NOTE: Boldfaced type indicates new language; [brackets and italic] type indicates deletions or comments.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

    This measure amends the Bill of Rights in the Oregon Constitution by granting certain rights to victims of crimes and acts of juvenile delinquency. If approved, this amendment will give victims:

    1. The right to be informed of and present at certain stages of the proceedings and to speak at pretrial release hearings and at sentencing or disposition proceedings.

    2. The right to obtain information about the person charged with or convicted of the crime or act of juvenile delinquency. The information includes information about the person's conviction, sentence, imprisonment, criminal history and future release from custody or similar information if the person is a juvenile.

    3. The right to refuse an interview, deposition or other request for information by the person accused of committing the crime or act of juvenile delinquency.

    4. The right to receive prompt payment from the criminal or youth offender for certain monetary damages caused by the criminal or youth offender's actions.

    5. The right to have a copy of the transcript of court proceedings if one is otherwise prepared.

    6. The right to be consulted about plea negotiations involving violent felonies.

    7. The right to be informed of these rights as soon as practicable.

    The rights granted by the measure will apply to all criminal and juvenile delinquency proceedings that are pending, or that begin, on or after the effective date of this measure.

    Except as otherwise specifically provided, this measure supersedes any conflicting section of the Oregon Constitution.
 
Committee Members: 
Senator Neil Bryant 
Representative Kevin Mannix 
Senator Kate Brown
Representative Floyd Prozanski
Representative Lane Shetterly
Appointed By:
President of the Senate
Speaker of the House
Secretary of State
Secretary of State
Members of the Committee

(This committee was appointed to provide an impartial explanation of the ballot measure pursuant to
 ORS 251.215.)


Arguments In Favor

Arguments In Opposition

November 2, 1999 Special Election Voters' Pamphlet Table of Contents