House Joint Resolution 94--Referred to the Electorate of Oregon by the 1999 Legislature to be voted on at the Special Election, November 2, 1999.



RESULT OF "YES" VOTE: "Yes" vote requires terms of imprisonment announced in court be fully served, with exceptions; guarantees consecutive sentencing authority.

RESULT OF "NO" VOTE: "No" vote retains legislature's power to adopt laws setting aside or modifying terms of imprisonment announced in court and to limit consecutive sentencing authority.

SUMMARY: Amends Constitution. Measure requires terms of imprisonment imposed by judge in open court to be fully served. Effect is to eliminate reductions for good conduct or other reasons unless authorized by sentencing court and permitted by law. Provides exceptions for: reprieves, commutations or pardons by Governor; relief from appellate or post-conviction court. Measure would bar statutory change reducing imprisonment already imposed. Measure also bars laws limiting consecutive sentences for crimes against certain victims. Defines "victim" to include people of Oregon, represented by prosecuting attorney, when no person has been determined to be victim. Person accused of crime cannot be considered victim. Applies to offenses committed on or after measure's effective date.

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


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)(a) A term of imprisonment imposed by a judge in open court may not be set aside or otherwise not carried out, except as authorized by the sentencing court or through the subsequent exercise of:
    (A) The power of the Governor to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons; or
    (B) Judicial authority to grant appellate or post-conviction relief.
    (b) No law shall limit a court's authority to sentence a criminal defendant consecutively for crimes against different victims.
    (2) This section applies to all offenses committed on or after 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 creates 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 or juvenile delinquency proceedings at any point after the case is commenced or on appeal.
    (3) As used in this section, "victim" means any person determined by the prosecuting attorney to have suffered direct financial, psychological or physical harm as a result of a crime and, in the case of a victim who is a minor, the legal guardian of the minor. In the event no person has been determined to be a victim of the crime, the people of Oregon, represented by the prosecuting attorney, are considered to be the victims. In no event is it intended that the criminal defendant be considered the victim.

    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.


    This measure amends the Bill of Rights in the Oregon Constitution by imposing a requirement that terms of imprisonment imposed by a judge in open court be fully served. The effect of this measure is to eliminate reductions in prison terms based on good conduct or other reasons unless:

    1. The judge has specifically authorized the reduction;

    2. The Governor grants a reprieve, commutation or pardon; or

    3. A court has granted relief in an appeal of the case or in a post-conviction proceeding.

    This measure also prohibits laws that would limit a court's authority to sentence a person consecutively for crimes committed against different victims.

    This measure bars any statutory change by the Legislature which reduces the term of a sentence already imposed by a judge.

    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