MEASURE 70


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

VOTE YES ON MEASURE 70

TO GIVE THE PEOPLE AND CRIME VICTIMS

THE RIGHT TO A JURY TRIAL

In November 1996, a strong majority of voters passed Ballot Measure 40, which amended the Oregon Constitution to allow crime victims, and the people, the right to a jury trial, just as the criminal defendant has the right to demand a jury trial. Ballot Measure 40 was set aside by the Oregon Supreme Court on the basis that Measure 40 contained more than one amendment to the Oregon Constitution, and each component needed to be voted on separately. The Legislature has now referred this part of original Measure 40 back to the voters.

The Oregon Supreme Court has ruled that the criminal defendant can demand a right to a trial by jury, but has not allowed the people the same right if the defendant asks for a trial by the judge without a jury.

This measure is designed to preserve and protect the right of crime victims, and the people, to justice by ensuring that the people also have a right to demand a jury trial.

Referral of this measure to the voters was sought by the three largest, longest established victims' organizations in Oregon (Parents of Murdered Children; Mothers Against Drunk Driving; Crime Victims United) and by Oregon law enforcement organizations (Association Chiefs of Police; District Attorneys Association; State Sheriffs Association; State Police; Federation of Parole and Probation Officers).

As chief petitioner of Ballot Measure 40, and as the originator of this referral to the voters, I urge your yes vote on Measure 70.

Kevin L. Mannix
State Representative

(This information furnished by Kevin L. Mannix, Justice For All.)

(This space purchased for $300 in accordance with ORS 251.255.)
The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by the State of Oregon, nor does the state warrant the accuracy or truth of any statement made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

In 1996, Oregonians overwhelmingly voted to give crime victims at least as many rights as criminals. But the politicians on the Oregon Supreme Court came up with a never-before used technicality to throw out the voters' wishes.

Measures 69 through 75 are virtually the same Crime Victims Bill of Rights.

What the court threw out would have put an end to the practice of criminal defendants manipulating the system to find a sympathetic judge to try their case without a jury!

On Mother's Day 1997, Danielle House shot to death Duane Hayes. At trial, the defendant attempted to have her case tried by the judge without a jury. The prosecution objected.

Because the Supreme Court had not yet ruled on the voter-passed Crime Victims Bill of Rights, the judge was forced to let a jury decide. Nevertheless, the judge submitted a secret verdict in the event Measure 40 was overturned.

The jury convicted Danielle House of first-degree manslaughter.

After the Crime Victims Bill of Rights was thrown out, the trial judge's verdict was revealed...

NOT GUILTY! SHE WALKED FREE!

Why allow a criminal to go judge shopping?

PLEASE VOTE YES ON MEASURES 69 THROUGH 75!

SHOULDN'T THE CRIME VICTIM HAVE AT LEAST AS MANY RIGHTS AS THE CRIMINAL?

(This information furnished by Steve Doell, Crime Victims United.)

(This space purchased for $300 in accordance with ORS 251.255.)
The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by the State of Oregon, nor does the state warrant the accuracy or truth of any statement made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

We have been volunteer political activist and crime victims advocates since 1980 when our daughter was murdered. We have attended many many court proceedings for other victims & have seen first hand the great need for change. That is why we were Chief Petitioners on Ballot Measure 40 in 1996.

We and many other concerned citizens, were elated by its passage. We believed the law abiding would not be solely subject to the will of criminal advocates any longer.

Our elation turned to sorrow however in 1998 when Oregon's Supreme Court overturned Ballot Measure 40 in its entirety by using unprecedented technical grounds.

The 1999 Legislature has by referral given us the opportunity to reestablish this much needed crime victims bill. Without the attention and shared concern of 1999 voters it won't happen.

Measure 70 will allow both the criminal defendant and the crime victim, under advisement of the District Attorney, to request and receive a jury trial. The need for this measure lies in the fact that many defense attorneys full well knowing the personal philosophy of the judges will delay the case with the aim of getting it into the court of a judge biased in support of criminal defense.

If a criminal defendant wishes a jury trial they are guaranteed that right in the US Constitution. However they are not constitutionally guaranteed a trial before a judge. Measure 70 would allow the victim a trial by jury if they wish even though the defendant is not in agreement.

This is a common sense change eliminating some legal game playing. Criminal Courts play an important role in our society. They may not be merely playgrounds for crafty attorneys.

Criminals have enjoyed many constitutional guarantees. Their victims must be afforded these few. The wishes of Oregon voters can't be ignored. Ballot Measure 70 along with Measures 69, 71, 72, 73, 74, & 75 will reestablish most of Measure 40.

Bob & Dee Dee Kouns
Founders of Crime Victims United
Chief Petitioners of Ballot Measure 40
(This information furnished by Bob & Dee Dee Kouns, Crime Victims United.)

(This space purchased for $300 in accordance with ORS 251.255.)
The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by the State of Oregon, nor does the state warrant the accuracy or truth of any statement made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

    Everyone in America has an absolute right to a jury trial. In Oregon, this is a trial by either 6 or 12 members of the community, depending upon the seriousness of the crime. But Oregon is one of a very small number of states that allow an accused criminal to bypass a jury and ask that a judge alone determine his/her guilt.

    Measure 70 would require agreement by both the defendant and the prosecution in order to bypass the constitutional right to a jury trial.

    In most parts of the world the government insists that professional judges decide the guilt or innocent of criminal defendants. The American judicial system is unique, even in English-speaking nations, in its belief in the wisdom of the common person. The system trusts that a slice of the community will almost always be able to determine the true facts of a situation.

    The vast majority of judges operating in the American system are fair. But a few are known to be particularly lenient in some kinds of cases or to certain lawyers. These judges tend to be well-known to professional criminal defense lawyers, who then try to steer their cases in to that judge's courtroom. Under Oregon's current system, a criminal defendant, and only a criminal defendant (never the prosecution) can waive a jury and ask the judge to decide the case. There is no guarantee of a "judge trial" in either the Oregon or federal constitution.

    The Constitution guarantees many rights; the Right to be free from unreasonable searches, the Right to be represented by counsel, and the Right to a fair and public trial.

    Just as the Right to a Public Trial belongs to the community ­ not just the accused criminal ­ shouldn't the Right to a Jury Trial belong to EVERYONE as well?

    Give the community equal rights to criminals, and vote YES ON Measure 70..

(This information furnished by Joshua Marquis.)

(This space purchased for $300 in accordance with ORS 251.255.)
The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by the State of Oregon, nor does the state warrant the accuracy or truth of any statement made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

OUR CONSTITUTION allows defendants a right to a jury trial. And this is a 'Good Thing'.

Presently, under Oregon law, a defendant may choose to forgo a jury trial in favor of a court trial. A court trial simply means that a Judge will decide the case.

A victim, on the other hand, does not have the right to a jury trial under current Oregon law.

WHY WOULD A VICTIM WANT OR NEED A JURY TRIAL?

While Judges are supposed to be unaffected by personal beliefs and personal feelings, in reality they succumb to the same human frailties as the rest of us.

THIS MEASURE, IN NO WAY, IMPEDES THE DEFENDANT'S RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL.

It would stop defense attorneys from SHOPPING for a judge who will rule in their favor.

VICTIMS NEED to have their story told to a body that is impartial. Also, giving victims the opportunity to a jury trial is the only chance they have for a fair outcome. Our Oregon Constitution has expanded the rights of criminal defendants immeasurably. We need to balance the scales.

LET US GIVE THE VICTIM THE RIGHT TO THE COLLECTIVE WISDOM AND IMPARTIALITY OF A JURY.

PLEASE JOIN ME IN VOTING YES ON MEASURE 70, as well as 69, 71, 72, 73, 74, and 75.

(This information furnished by J L Hobgood, Crime Victims United.)

(This space purchased for $300 in accordance with ORS 251.255.)
The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by the State of Oregon, nor does the state warrant the accuracy or truth of any statement made in the argument.



Arguments In Opposition

Measure 70 Text

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