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:ApprovedApproveda
2014 measures
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November 4
Right to Vote Amendment Approveda
Crime Victims' Bill of Rights Amendment Approveda
Minimum Wage Increase Question Approveda
Birth Control Coverage Question Approveda
Millionaire Tax Increase Question Approveda
EndorsementsFull text
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Local measures

The Illinois Crime Victims' Bill of Rights Amendment was on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Illinois as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was overwhelmingly approved. The measure was designed to strengthen the Crime Victims' Bill of Rights. Specifically, the amendment was meant to 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.

In order to be ratified, this measure had to be approved by either three-fifths of those voting on the question or by a majority of people voting in the election, whichever is less.[2]

Election results

Below are the official, certified election results:

Illinois Crime Victims' Bill of Rights Amendment
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 2,653,475 72.36%
No728,99119.86%

Due to Illinois' approval requirements, the amount of total votes in the overall election was used to calculate the percent of "yes" and "no" votes, since this number was less than the percentage of people who voted on this question. This may result in the percents for the "yes" and "no" votes adding up to less than 100 percent.
Election results via: Illinois State Board of Elections

Text of the measure

Ballot title

The ballot language appeared as follows:[3]

The proposed amendment makes changes to Section 8.1 of Article I of the Illinois constitution, the Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights. The proposed amendment would expand certain rights already granted to crime victims in Illinois, and give crime victims the ability to enforce their rights in a court of law. You are asked to decide whether the proposed amendment should become part of the Illinois Constitution.

YES

NO [4]

Constitutional changes

Upon its approval, this measure amended Section 8.1 of Article I of the Constitution of Illinois as shown below, with the underlined text being added and the struckthrough text being removed:[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:[5]

Organizations

  • Illinois State’s Attorney’s Association[6]
  • Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Opposition

Opponents

Officials

The following elected officials voted against the amendment in the legislature:[7]

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the Illinois Constitution

The Illinois General Assembly was required to pass the amendment by a 60 percent 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.[7]

House vote

House vote on April 2, 2014:

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

Senate vote

Senate vote on April 10, 2014:

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

See also

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External links

References