Oregon Victims’ Rights in Criminal Prosecutions, Measure 69 (1999)
The Oregon Victims’ Rights in Criminal Prosecutions Amendment, also known as Measure 69, was on the November 2, 1999 ballot in Oregon as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure granted victims’ constitutional rights in criminal prosecutions and juvenile court delinquency proceedings.
|Oregon Measure 69 (1999)|
Election results via: Oregon Blue Book
HJR 87 - Amends Constitution: Grants Victims Constitutional Rights In Criminal Prosecutions, Juvenile Court Delinquency Proceedings
Crime Victims United aruged that crime victims need at least as many rights as criminals have, saying, "While these rights may seem self evident, each year thousands of crime victims are shocked to learn that the focus of the Oregon criminal justice system is on the criminal-not justice!"
 Many who opposed the measure didn't believe it was an effective way to ensure victims' rights.
Survivors Advocating For an Effective System, a group made up of crime victims, said, "If the Oregon Legislature really wanted to help victims of crime, ...[measures] would force criminals to pay restitution to victims. ...Measure 69 -- the so-called "victim's rights" measure does nothing to address the current inequities in the restitution system."
Some saw the measure as a "smoke screen" for giving politicians more power and allowing those politicians to use victims of crime for their own ambitions.
Stan Robson, Benton County Sheriff pointed out what he considered to be negative language in the measure: "Measure 69 states no defendant can ever be considered a victim. Even in cases of domestic violence a woman charged for defending herself against an abusive husband could never be considered a victim. It's wrong to place that language in our Bill of Rights."
Some aruged that the measure wrongfully gives the prosecutor the authority to decide who is a victim and who isn't. Oregonian Janette Gail shared her story of finding out her son had been killed in an automobile accident in a letter to the Secretary of State:
"The officer tells me my child is dead. 'He was a passenger...his best friend was driving...the driver had been drinking.' I heard it through a fog. Having suffered through this horror, we didn't relish the thought of our friend's family being similarly torn. Sending our son's friend to prison wasn't going to bring our son back, but working with our friend in the wake of this tragedy could have been healing for all of us. The prosecutor ignored our wishes."
Regarding the measure, Gail aruged, "One of the sneaky things that Measure 69 would do is give prosecutors the constitutional power to ignore crime victims like us."
- Oregon 1998 ballot measures
- 1998 ballot measures
- List of Oregon ballot measures
- History of Initiative & Referendum in Oregon
- Oregon Blue Book Initiative, Referendum and Recall: 1996-1999
- Oregon State Constitution
- Oregon Official Voters' Pamphlet November November 1999
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