Measure 52

Legislative Argument in Support

Section 43 of Article I of the Oregon Constitution establishes rights of crime victims. Ballot Measure 52 relates to enforcement of Section 43 rights including the rights to be reasonably protected from adult and juvenile offenders throughout the criminal justice process and to have court decisions about pretrial release of criminal defendants based, in part, on reasonable protection of the victim and the public. Currently, victims cannot individually enforce these rights.

Ballot Measure 52 would empower victims individually to seek remedies for violations of their Section 43 rights. Victims can assert and enforce their rights or ask prosecutors to assert and enforce their rights; prosecutors can decline, leaving victims free to do so.

Ballot Measure 52 authorizes the legislature to enact detailed laws for enforcing Section 43 rights, including reasonable limitations on the time allowed for claims and the circumstances in which expedited appeals are allowed. Until the legislature exercises this authority, victims can assert their constitutional rights in a pending criminal case or, if no such case is pending, by initiating a lawsuit to compel public officials to respect their rights.

Ballot Measure 52 provides that a victim's claim for a Section 43 right can invalidate a court's ruling or suspend a criminal or juvenile delinquency proceeding if such suspension would not violate a right of a criminal defendant or alleged youth offender guaranteed by the Oregon or United States Constitutions.

Ballot Measure 52 continues current provisions of the Oregon Constitution preventing recovery of money damages for violation of a victim's rights, and preventing victim's claims from invalidating an indictment or other accusatory instrument, conviction or adjudication, or from terminating any criminal or juvenile delinquency proceeding at any point after the case is commenced or on appeal.

Committee Members: / Appointed by:
Senator Floyd Prozanski / President of the Senate
Representative Wayne Krieger / Speaker of the House
Representative Greg Macpherson / Speaker of the House

(This Joint Legislative Committee was appointed to provide the legislative argument in support of the ballot measure pursuant to ORS 251.245.)

Argument in Favor

Fellow Oregonians:

I ask you to vote "yes" on Measure 52 in order to better protect crime victims from being further victimized during or after a criminal trial.

Measure 51, also on this ballot, protects crime victims in several ways. I have written a voters' pamphlet argument in favor of Measure 51.

This Measure 52 also improves protections for crime victims. Because it affects a different Section of the Oregon Constitution, it requires a separate vote.

In 1999, I led the effort to put several victims' rights measures on the ballot. One of those measures became Section 43 of Article I, of the Oregon Constitution, when voters approved it by a wide margin. This Section 43:

These provisions have been a great help in protecting crime victims, and the public, from predatory criminals. These provisions have been carried out in the great majority of cases where they apply.

Unfortunately, these provisions have not been fully enforced in some cases, and crime victims and prosecutors need more procedural tools to enforce these provisions in all relevant cases.

Measure 52 helps prosecutors better enforce the protection of crime victims and the public. It also gives crime victims a clear right to go to court on their own and "have remedy by due course of law" for violations of Section 43.

This Measure is backed by a broad range of law enforcement authorities and has strong bipartisan support.

I ask you to vote "yes" on Measure 52.


Kevin Mannix

(This information furnished by Kevin L. Mannix; Kevin L. Mannix, P.C.)

Argument in Favor


Section 43 of the Oregon Constitution's Bill of Rights establishes rights of crime victims. These rights include, among others, the right to be reasonably protected from adult and juvenile offenders throughout the criminal justice process and to have court decisions about pretrial release of criminal defendants based, in part, on reasonable protection of the victim and the public.

You might think victims denied these and other rights provided by the Oregon Constitution could go to court to enforce their rights—but you would be wrong. Currently victims cannot individually enforce any of their Section 43 rights.

A right without a remedy is an illusory right. A "yes" vote on Measure 52 will allow victims to seek remedies "by due course of law" for violations of their constitutional rights. A "yes" vote will make the constitutional rights of victims real.


Measure 52 is carefully drawn to make victims' rights enforcement consistent with an accused's constitutional rights and with the orderly progress of a criminal or juvenile case. The measure

--permits victim rights enforcement to suspend temporarily a criminal or juvenile proceeding if consistent with an accused's speedy trial or other constitutional rights;

--continues current constitutional provisions that prevent a victim's rights violation from invalidating an accusatory instrument or a conviction, terminating a criminal or juvenile proceeding, or creating a right to recover money damages.


Measure 52 authorizes the legislature to establish by law the details of implementing the measure but provides remedies for victims until the legislature acts. The measure will thus form an historic, enduring foundation for Oregonians today and in the years ahead to realize the rights the Oregon Constitution grants them if they are victims of crime.

I urge you to join me in supporting Measure 52.

Attorney General Hardy Myers

(This information furnished by Hardy Myers.)

Argument in Favor

Crime Victims United, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Parents of Murdered Children urge you to VOTE YES on Ballot Measures 51 and 52.

We ask you to help us complete a 25-year quest for crime victims' rights:

From the state's establishment through the early 1980's, crime victims in Oregon had no rights in statutory law or in the Oregon Constitution. In 1986 the voters of Oregon established crime victims' rights in statutory law. In 1999 voters established crime victims' rights in the Oregon Constitution.

But in 2008, crime victims in Oregon still do not have standing to appeal when their rights are violated.

Measures 51 and 52 will give crime victims enforceable rights.

Crime Victims United, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and Parents of Murdered Children have seen the difficulties crime victims face in the criminal justice system. We strongly support these measures.

Measures 51 and 52 received unanimous support from the Oregon House and Senate. They have the support of law enforcement.

Now we ask for your support, through your vote, to make crime victims' rights enforceable.

Please join Crime Victims United, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Parents of Murdered Children, by voting:

YES on Measures 51 and 52

(This information furnished by Steve Doell, Crime Victims United; Mothers Against Drunk Driving; Parents of Murdered Children.)

Argument in Favor

Our arguments in support of Ballot Measure 52 are fundamentally the same as for Measure 51, and we encourage voters to review that statement. Here we respond to two questions:

First, in Oregon, we are allowed to make only one change in how we govern ourselves in any single ballot measure. In 1996, a comprehensive crime victims' bill of rights adopted by the voters was overturned by the Supreme Court for violating that "single subject" rule. Consequently, the legislature sent that proposal as component parts to the voters in 1999. The two "victims' rights" proposals were adopted as Sections 42 and 43 of Oregon's Bill of Rights.

In our argument for updating Section 42, we reviewed some of the rights it seeks to make enforceable, like the right to be allowed in the courtroom. Another critical right in that Measure, which bears on this Measure as well, is the right to speak at any pretrial release hearing.

The right which this Measure would make enforceable is to be "reasonably protected" from the accused or convicted offender, adult or juvenile. Reasonable protection can take many forms - from asking for a no-contact order at a release hearing, for example, or for one's name, address, and contact information to be kept private, or otherwise telling the court about one's safety concerns

By passing Measure 52, the voters will tell the justice system that it can no longer ignore these personal safety considerations with impunity. A justice agency that ignores a court order to take certain reasonable protective measures may be brought back into court - and the same for accused or convicted offender who violates such orders.

Please vote for Measure 52.

(This information furnished by John H. Stein, International Organization for Victim Assistance.)

Argument in Favor

I am a Law Professor in Oregon and Director of the National Crime Victim Law Institute. As one of the nation's leading legal experts on crime victims law, I urge you to VOTE YES on Ballot Measures 51 and 52. These measures are designed to change what are now illusory crime victims' rights into real and enforceable crime victims rights.

Right now the victim's rights already in the Oregon Constitution cannot be enforced. In particular, provisions denying stays and the language preventing judicial review of any ruling involving victims' rights make unavailable the traditional rights enforcement. Such traditional rights enforcement procedures accompany other constitutional rights, but not crime victims' rights. What this means is that victims' rights are rights without remedy. Rights without remedy goes against longstanding legal and constitutional tradition. In our American legal tradition, rights are accompanied by remedies. Ballot Measures 51 and 52 will place victims rights within the American tradition of enforceable rights with remedy.

In providing enforcement for violation of victims' rights, Measures 51 and 52 also grant the legislature authority to provide procedures. Thus, the legislature may facilitate enforcement of the rights through procedures it establishes. Moreover, this legislative authority allows for flexibility, so that procedures can be modified when needed to ensure that victims' rights are enforced. With the constitution already providing rights, with the passage of Measures 51 and 52 the legislature will be able to see to it that those constitutional rights can be efficiently enforced in the courts.

Throughout the years, Oregonians have been strong supporters of crime victims' civil rights. What is needed now to achieve meaningful, enforceable rights is the passage of Measures 51 and 52. Both Houses of the Oregon Legislature voted unanimously to refer these two measures to the people and I urge you to join them in voting YES on Ballot Measures 51 and 52.

Douglas E. Beloof
Professor of Law
Director, National Crime Victim Law Institute

(This information furnished by Douglas E Beloof, National Crime Victim Law Institute.)

Argument in Favor


Measure 52 is a companion to Measure 51. Oregon's victims' rights are codified in more than one section of the Constitution. As a result, giving victims the authority to independently enforce the Constitutional protections requires two amendments to the Constitution. Measure 52 continues the important changes made by Measure 51 by mirroring them in a separate section of Oregon's Constitution.

Measure 52 protects victims' rights and also ensures timely administration of criminal justice. 34 states provide crime victims with constitutional protections. Only Oregon and one other state fail to provide victims a process to enforce these rights. Measures 51 and 52 contain provisions that preserve the speedy administration of justice and offer victims a meaningful mechanism for protecting their rights.

Enforceability of crime victims' rights has widespread support. The Oregon Legislature unanimously referred Measure 51 and Measure 52 to the ballot. The federal criminal justice system already offers victims tools to enforce their rights. Measures 51 and 52 will more closely align Oregon with federal law.

Measure 52 provides legislative flexibility in the future. Both Measure 51 and Measure 52 authorize the legislature to enact laws to facilitate and streamline the process by which crime victims obtain relief in the courtroom. These provisions ensure that the state legislature has the ability to shape the effective and efficient administration of justice without additional Constitutional amendments.

Ballot Measure 52 makes important and responsible improvements to Oregon's Constitution.

(This information furnished by Kevin Neely, Oregon District Attorneys Association.)

Argument in Favor

Vote YES on Ballot Measure 52

The members of the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police urge you to vote YES on Ballot Measure 52.

Over the past decade, Oregonians and the legislative process have taken important steps to insure that the needs of crime victims are considered by our judicial system and that their voices are heard. As law enforcement leaders in the State of Oregon, we see the harm and pain that crime victims experience on a daily basis. We strongly believe that their stories and perspectives play a critical role in our criminal justice system. Above all, we believe that the rights of crime victims should be fully enforceable in the courts. It is not sufficient to provide victims with the appearance of rights without providing them a real remedy when their rights are violated.

As presently written, the Oregon Constitution provides rights for crime victims but doesn't provide recourse when these important rights are violated. Ballot Measure 52 will insure that the rights we offer to victims in Oregon are meaningful and real. Ballot Measure 52 will give judges the authority they need to enforce the rights of crime victims the way other constitutional rights are enforced. Just as the rights of defendants are honored by the criminal justice system, so too should the rights of victims.

The Oregon House of Representatives and Oregon State Senate voted unanimously to refer Ballot Measure 52 to you, the voters. Such bipartisan agreement testifies to the common sense nature of this important proposal. Please join Oregon's police chiefs in supporting this vital measure to secure the enforcement of crime victim's rights.

We urge you to vote YES on Ballot Measure 52!

(This information furnished by Kevin Campbell, Oregon Association Chiefs of Police.)