RESULT OF "YES" VOTE: "Yes" vote gives public, through prosecutor, right to demand jury trial in criminal cases.
RESULT OF "NO" VOTE: "No" vote retains current right of accused person to waive jury with approval of judge and leaves public without right to demand jury trial in criminal cases.
SUMMARY: Amends Constitution. Oregon Constitution currently grants only accused person right to demand jury trial in criminal prosecution. Measure grants public, through prosecutor, an independent constitutional right to demand jury trial in criminal cases. Currently accused person can waive jury trial with consent of trial court judge and have case tried to court alone. If measure is approved, prosecutor could demand jury trial if accused person requests trial without jury; prosecutor's demand would prevail. Does not require jury in juvenile court.
ESTIMATE OF FINANCIAL IMPACT: No financial effect on state or local government expenditures or revenues.
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) The people of the State of Oregon have the right to a public trial by a jury, without delay, in any criminal prosecution.
(2) This section applies to all criminal proceedings pending or commenced on or after the effective date of this section except when a trial before a judge, without a jury, is already in progress upon 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 proceeding at any point after the case is commenced or on appeal. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a jury trial in any juvenile court proceeding.
(3) The prosecuting attorney is the party authorized to assert or waive the right established by this section. Nothing in this section shall be construed as modifying or limiting the authority of the prosecuting attorney to enter into negotiated pleas and dispositions in criminal prosecutions.
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..
Currently, the Oregon Constitution allows only the accused person the right to demand a jury trial in a criminal case. If the accused person does not want a jury to determine whether the person is guilty or not guilty, the accused person can waive a jury trial. If the judge consents to the person's waiver, the case is tried to the judge alone and the judge determines whether the person is guilty or not guilty.
If this measure is approved, the prosecuting attorney could demand a jury trial even if the accused person wanted a trial without a jury. If the prosecuting attorney demanded a jury trial, the case would have to be tried to a jury.
This measure does not create a right to a jury trial in a juvenile court delinquency proceeding.
Except as otherwise specifically provided, this measure
supersedes any conflicting section of the Oregon Constitution.
Senator Neil Bryant
Representative Kevin Mannix
Senator Kate Brown
Representative Floyd Prozanski
Representative Lane Shetterly
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
Arguments In Favor
Arguments In Opposition
November 2, 1999 Special Election Voters' Pamphlet Table