Illinois Crime Victims' Bill of Rights Amendment (2014)

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Crime Victims' Bill of Rights Amendment
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:Illinois Constitution
Referred by:Illinois General Assembly
Topic:Civil and criminal trials on the ballot
Status:On the ballot

The Illinois Crime Victims' Bill of Rights Amendment is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Illinois as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure would strengthen the Crime Victims' Bill of Rights. Specifically, the amendment would guarantee the following:[1]

  • A victim’s right to be free from harassment, intimidation and abuse throughout the criminal trial process.
  • A victim’s right to notice and to a hearing before a court ruling on access to any of the victim’s records, information or communications.
  • A victim’s right to be heard at any post-arraignment court proceeding in which a victim’s right is at issue and at any court proceeding involving a post-arraignment release decision, plea or sentencing.
  • A consideration of the safety of the victim and their family in determining bail and conditions of release after arrest and conviction of the defendant.
  • That the accused does not have standing to assert the rights of a victim.

Text of the measure

Constitutional changes

The proposed amendment would amend Section 8.1 of Article I of the Constitution of Illinois:[1]

SECTION 8.1. CRIME VICTIMS’ VICTIM’S RIGHTS.
(a) Crime victims, as defined by law, shall have the following rights as provided by law:
(1) The right to be treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy and to be free from harassment, intimidation, and abuse throughout the criminal justice process.
(2) The right to notice and to a hearing before a court ruling on a request for access to any of the victim’s records, information, or communications which are privileged or confidential by law.
(3) (2) The right to timely notification of all court proceedings.
(4) (3) The right to communicate with the prosecution.
(5) (4) The right to be heard at any post-arraignment court proceeding in which a right of the victim is at issue and any court proceeding involving a post-arraignment release decision, plea, or sentencing make a statement to the court at sentencing.
(6) (5) The right to be notified of information about the conviction, the sentence, the imprisonment, and the release of the accused.
(7) (6) The right to timely disposition of the case following the arrest of the accused.
(8) (7) The right to be reasonably protected from the accused throughout the criminal justice process.
(9) The right to have the safety of the victim and the victim's family considered in denying or fixing the amount of bail, determining whether to release the defendant, and setting conditions of release after arrest and conviction.
(10) (8) The right to be present at the trial and all other court proceedings on the same basis as the accused, unless the victim is to testify and the court determines that the victim's testimony would be materially affected if the victim hears other testimony at the trial.
(11) (9) The right to have present at all court proceedings, subject to the rules of evidence, an advocate and or other support person of the victim's choice.
(12) (10) The right to restitution.
(b) The victim has standing to assert the rights enumerated in subsection (a) in any court exercising jurisdiction over the case. The court shall promptly rule on a victim's request. The victim does not have party status. The accused does not have standing to assert the rights of a victim. The court shall not appoint an attorney for the victim under this Section. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to alter the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the prosecuting attorney The General Assembly may provide by law for the enforcement of this Section.
(c) The General Assembly may provide for an assessment against convicted defendants to pay for crime victims' rights.
(d) Nothing in this Section or any law enacted under this Section creates a cause of action in equity or at law for compensation, attorney's fees, or damages against the State, a political subdivision of the State, an officer, employee, or agent of the State or of any political subdivision of theState, or an officer or employee of the court. or in any law enacted under
(e) Nothing in this Section or any law enacted under this Section shall be construed as creating (1) a basis for vacating a conviction or (2) a ground for any relief requested by the defendant appellate relief in any criminal case.

Support

Supporters

Officials

The following elected officials sponsored the amendment in the legislature:[2]

Organizations

  • Illinois State’s Attorney’s Association[3]
  • Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Opposition

Opponents

Officials

The following elected officials voted against the amendment in the legislature:[4]

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the Illinois Constitution

The Illinois General Assembly was required to pass the amendment by a 60% majority vote in both chambers in order to place the amendment on the ballot. HJRCA 1 was approved by the Illinois House of Representatives on April 2, 2014. The amendment was approved by the Illinois Senate on April 10, 2014.[4]

House vote

April 2, 2014 House vote

Illinois HJRCA 1 House Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 111 98.23%
No21.77%

Senate vote

April 10, 2014 Senate vote

Illinois HJRCA 1 Senate Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 59 100.00%
No00.00%

See also

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