MEASURE 73


ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

    Measure 73 attacks your constitutional rights. Measure 73 could force you to testify against yourself without complete immunity. That's unfair, unconstitutional, and unprecedented in Oregon.

The right against self-incrimination

    Measure 73 would erode and reduce the rights that citizens have had under English and American law for over 600 years. The Oregon Constitution has a perfectly workable provision adopted in 1859 (Article I, Section 12) which states "No person shall be [...] compelled in any criminal prosecution to testify against himself." The United States Constitution contains a similar provision in the Fifth Amendment adopted over 200 years ago.

    This simple rule means the government cannot compel a person to say that he is guilty. The privilege against self-incrimination has ensured that confessions must be free of coercion -- whether by the medieval rack, the eighteenth-century lash, the modern rubber hose or jailing for judicial contempt.

Use of compelled testimony in trials of other defendants

    Often the police investigate crimes committed by more than one person. The police may ask one suspect to testify about his involvement with other suspects. If this first suspect asserts his right against self-incrimination, the government may still require the witness to testify or be jailed for contempt of court. Of course, the witness must receive immunity to protect his right against self-incrimination. Under current law in Oregon, the government cannot prosecute the witness for the crime that he is required to discuss in his testimony. As early as 1892, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a witness who gives compelled testimony should receive "absolute immunity against future prosecution for the offense" that is the subject of the testimony. Oregon courts have made similar rulings under the Oregon Constitution.

"Immunity" under Measure 73

    Measure 73 would greatly limit the protection for the witness who is compelled to testify. Under Measure 73, the government COULD prosecute the witness for the crime that he is required to discuss, so long as the government does not use the compelled testimony, itself, in investigating or prosecuting the witness.

Why Measure 73 is a bad idea in the real world

    The American Bar Association has opposed proposals such as Measure 73 because the sort of immunity it offers is often an illusion. You should oppose it too.

    Measure 73 immunity is supposed to prevent officers from relying on compelled testimony, but the police could use the information to find other witnesses, and then could claim that the other witnesses were an "independent source" of the information. The police could not forget the testimony, and it would naturally affect how they collected and considered evidence from other sources in the investigation of the witness.

    Measure 73 is like handing the witness, compelled to testify by the state, a shovel and ordering him to dig his own grave. Your rights as a citizen are under attack in Measure 73.

    Vote "NO" on Measure 73.

(This information furnished by Phil Barnhart, Democratic Party of Lane County.)

(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 OPPOSITION

Oregon's Bill of Rights Has Protected Our Citizens
for over 140 years.
Please protect Oregon's Bill of Rights by Voting No on Measures 69 through 75

        Measures 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74 and 75 Would Dangerously Weaken Our Bill of Rights

    As a former US Attorney and a former Dean of Lewis and Clark Law School, we have studied the law and the rights of individuals for many years. Measures 69-75 would dramatically weaken our Bill of Rights.

    We support victims' rights and have championed laws to increase restitution, provide firm trial dates and provide dignified treatment of victims. Sadly none of these provisions are included in these measures. Instead, Oregonians are being sold a bill of goods under a misleading label.

    We have a proud history of effective prosecution and strong protection in our state Bill of Rights for all Oregonians. Don't undermine that tradition.

    Measures 69-75 Would Give Government Prosecutors Too Much Power.

    Remember Prosecutor Kenneth Starr? Remember how Starr abused his power to compel people to testify? Remember how Starr trampled on people's rights to get the information he wanted with little regard for the rights of those citizens?

    Measures 69-75 would open the doors to those same types of abuses in Oregon. They allow prosecutors to assume the role of victim; to choose the victim that best serves their own agenda; and broaden the power of prosecutors to compel people to testify against themselves.

    Measures 69-75 Take Power Away from Judges

    Our judicial system is grounded in the simple premise that an impartial judge rules in a courtroom. Defendants and prosecutors get a fair chance to present their case. These measures shift the balance of power from judges to government prosecutors. That's a dangerous precedent for Oregon's future.

    Don't Weaken Oregon's Cherished Bill of Rights.

    Please Join Us in Voting No on Measures 69-75

    Sid Lezak, US Attorney for Oregon (ret. 1961-1982)

    Stephen Kanter, Former Dean, Lewis & Clark Law School

(This information furnished by Stephen Kanter and Sid Lezak.)

(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 OPPOSITION

Save the Oregon Bill of Rights.
Vote No on Measures 69-75.

My name is Enver Bozgoz.
I came to America from Russia as a young man.
Today I live in Klamath Falls.

This series of measures to amend the Oregon Bill of Rights reminds me of my childhood days in Stalin's Russia.

KGB agents would come to an innocent person's home, always after midnight in a black van. They would arrest the heads of household for a "crime." The accused would waste away in Siberia, waiting for a trial with no right of release. And because the government controlled the courts... because judges were mere figureheads required to do the bidding of the state prosecutors... because the police were always rights... innocent people spent years in jail.

The Oregon Bill of Rights has served us well for over 140 years.

Today, Oregon's law strikes the delicate balance between the rights of victims and rights of the accused. We agree that convicted criminals should do their time... and that the rights of victims should be considered in courtroom proceedings. But that's not what these measures are about.

These measures strip power away from judges and tip the scales of justice to the state and their prosecutors. These measures repeal significant protections provided to all citizens by the Oregon Bill of Rights.

Oregonians don't want a police state.
They don't want a criminal justice system that erodes the presumption of innocence.
And they don't want to gut the Oregon Bill of Rights.
Please join me in voting NO on Measures 69-75.

Thank you.

Enver Bozgoz
Klamath Falls

(This information furnished by Geoff Sugerman, Crime Victims for Justice.)

(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 Favor

Measure 73 Text

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