Oregon Felons Banned from Serving on Juries, Measure 75 (1999)

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The Oregon Felons Banned from Serving on Juries Amendment, also known as Measure 75, was on the November 2, 1999 ballot in Oregon as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure would have banned persons convicted of certain crimes from serving on grad juries or criminal trial juries.[1]

Election results

Oregon Measure 75 (1999)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 399,671 57.75%
No292,44542.25%

Election results via: Oregon Blue Book

Ballot title

HJR 89 - Amends Constitution: Person Convicted Of Certain Crimes Cannot Serve On Grand Juries, Criminal Trial Juries[2]

Support

[3] State Representative Kevin Mannix sponsored the measure, after proposing a similar measure in 1996 that was thrown out due to a single-subject rule violation. The measure passed in 1996 before it was overturned, and Mannix encouraged voters to vote yes once again.

Many supporters of this measure believed that jurors with a criminal background could be biased or have ulterior motives when deciding the fate of the accused.

Steve Doell of Crime Victims United said, "In one recent example, a grand juror with a criminal history refused to vote in favor of any indictment involving a violent felony, because her boyfriend had been imprisoned for conviction of a violent felony. Her response was that this was her way of 'getting back' at the system."

Many supporters wondered, if someone is not responsible enough to follow the law, how can they be responsible enough to decide guilt or innocence?

Opposition

[4] Crime Victims for Justice argued that there was a lot of information that the supporters of the measure weren't telling voters, especially where cost was concerened, saying,

"A system of background checks for all prospective jurors will cost millions. To get around this problem, state officials are recommending a self-reporting system. They want to ask jurors, 'Have you been convicted of a misdemeanor involving dishonesty? Please tell the truth this time.'
"I wonder if misleading voters in the Voters' Pamphlet would bar state officials from jury duty. 'No fiscal impact?' Yeah, right."

Some of the opposition pointed out that even people convicted of very minor crimes, such as fishing without a liscense could be kept off juries.

See also

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References


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