House Joint Resolution 92--Referred to the Electorate of Oregon by the 1999 Legislature to be voted on at the Special Election, November 2, 1999.

BALLOT TITLE


72

AMENDS CONSTITUTION: ALLOWS MURDER CONVICTION BY 11 TO 1 JURY VERDICT.
RESULT OF "YES" VOTE: "Yes" vote allows person to be convicted by nonunanimous (11 to 1) jury verdict.

RESULT OF "NO" VOTE: "No" vote retains current requirement of unanimous (12 to 0) jury verdict for murder conviction.

SUMMARY: Amends Constitution. Oregon Constitution currently permits conviction for murder only on unanimous verdict of 12-person jury. Measure would permit conviction for murder if 11 members of 12-person jury vote to convict. Measure retains Oregon constitutional provision allowing acquittal on 10 to 2 vote. Unanimous verdict would still be required to convict a person of aggravated murder, when the death sentence is possible. Applies to proceedings pending or commenced on or after measure's effective date, except when jury previously has been impaneled and sworn.

ESTIMATE OF FINANCIAL IMPACT: No financial effect on state or local government expenditures or revenues.


TEXT OF MEASURE

Be It Resolved by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon:

    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) Notwithstanding section 11 of this Article, 11 members of a 12-person jury may render a verdict of guilty for murder but all 12 jurors must render a verdict of guilty for aggravated murder.
    (2) This section applies to all criminal proceedings pending or commenced on or after the effective date of this section, except a criminal proceeding in which a jury has been impaneled and sworn on 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.

    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.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

    This measure amends the Bill of Rights in the Oregon Constitution to provide that a person can be convicted of murder if 11 members of a 12-person jury vote to convict. Currently, the Oregon Constitution requires that all 12 members of a 12-person jury vote to convict in order to convict a person of murder. The change made by this measure would not apply to those murder cases for which the death penalty or life imprisonment without the possibility of release is a possible sentence. Those types of murder, called aggravated murder, would still require a unanimous verdict of a 12-person jury. This measure does not change the current constitutional provision for other crimes, which allows a 10 to 2 verdict for conviction or acquittal.

    Except as otherwise specifically provided, this measure supersedes any conflicting section of the Oregon Constitution.
 
Committee Members:
Senator Neil Bryant
Representative Kevin Mannix 
Senator Kate Brown
Representative Floyd Prozanski
Representative Lane Shetterly 
Appointed By:
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
 ORS 251.215.)


Arguments In Favor

Arguments In Opposition

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