Measure 52

House Joint Resolution 50-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 court processes to enforce existing constitutional rights regarding protection from offenders throughout 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 crime 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: protection from offenders, have pre-trial release decisions based on principles of protection, have release prohibited under specified circumstances), but constitution denies crime victims 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 of the uncertainty of how many victims choose to bring an enforcement action to protect rights guaranteed under section 43, Article I of the Oregon Constitution, but denied by the court, district attorney or other public agency. The cost of this measure could increase the number of pretrial release hearings and increase the number of criminal defendants held and the length of incarceration before, during or after trials. Current provisions of the constitution establish a victim's right to be reasonably protected from the defendant during the criminal justice process, including pretrial detention of a criminal defendant. Current constitutional provisions require that there shall be no bail for a defendant accused of a violent felony where the defendant is a danger to the victim or others. Few of these criminal defendants awaiting trial are currently released, so the number of cases affected by this measure may be minimal. 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.