Measure 51

House Joint Resolution 49-Referred to the Electorate of Oregon by the 2007 Legislative Assembly to be voted on at the Primary Election, May 20, 2008.

Ballot Title

AMENDS CONSTITUTION: ENABLES CRIME VICTIMS TO ENFORCE EXISTING CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS IN PROSECUTIONS, DELINQUENCY PROCEEDINGS; AUTHORIZES IMPLEMENTING LEGISLATION.

RESULT OF "YES" VOTE

"Yes" vote provides crime victims effective court processes to enforce existing constitutional rights regarding participation, restitution in criminal prosecutions/juvenile delinquency proceedings; authorizes implementing legislation.

RESULT OF "NO" VOTE

"No" vote retains provisions giving crime victims specified constitutional rights in prosecutions/juvenile delinquency proceedings, but denying victims effective court processes to enforce these rights.

SUMMARY

Amends Oregon Constitution. Current constitution gives crime victims specified rights in criminal prosecutions/juvenile delinquency proceedings (including rights to: be present during specified proceedings, refuse defendants' discovery requests, receive restitution, obtain transcripts, consult about specified plea negotiations), but constitution denies victims effective processes for enforcing these rights in court. Measure provides victims shall have remedy by due course of law for violations of these constitutional rights. Measure provides victims may assert claim based on these rights in pending cases or, absent pending case, by mandamus. Authorizes legislature to enact implementing legislation. Measure does not allow victims to obtain compensation, invalidate an accusatory instrument, conviction or adjudication, terminate a criminal or juvenile delinquency proceeding, or suspend such proceeding if suspension would violate defendant's constitutional rights. Other provisions.

ESTIMATE OF FINANCIAL IMPACT

The direct financial impact to state and local governments is indeterminate because the impact depends on how often a victim would choose to bring an enforcement action to protect rights guaranteed under section 42, Article I of the Oregon Constitution, but denied by the court, district attorney or other public agency. These additional challenges could arise before a criminal case is filed, after a case is filed, and after the entry of a final judgment in a criminal case. Actions could be pursued in cases involving person and property crimes in violation, misdemeanor and felony cases, and the victim could file an enforcement action more than one time in a single case. Some cases involve multiple victims, each of whom could bring an individual enforcement action. The measure authorizes the legislature to enact laws providing detailed procedures for claims by victims, including the establishment of reasonable limitations on the time allowed victims to assert their rights and prescribing procedures for appeal. Legislation providing such procedures and limitations could change the direct costs of this measure. Direct costs may also be impacted by the degree of change in the current practice of restitution orders and payment, how many new victims are identified by the court, and the number of challenges that are appealed to a higher court.