Bill Text: MS HC47 | 2019 | Regular Session | Engrossed


Bill Title: Constitution; amend to provide certain rights to victims throughout the criminal and juvenile justice systems.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-03-14 - Failed [HC47 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2019-HC47-Engrossed.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2019 Regular Session

To: Constitution

By: Representative Gunn

House Concurrent Resolution 47

(As Adopted by House)

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO THE MISSISSIPPI CONSTITUTION OF 1890, TO PROVIDE CERTAIN RIGHTS TO VICTIMS THROUGHOUT THE CRIMINAL AND JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEMS.

     BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That the following amendment to the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 is proposed to the qualified electors of the state:

     Amend the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 by creating a new section to read as follows:

     "Section    .  (1)  To preserve and protect justice and due process for victims throughout the criminal and juvenile justice systems, a victim shall have the following rights which shall be protected in a manner no less vigorous than the rights afforded to the accused:

          (a)  To be treated with fairness and respect for the victim's safety, dignity and privacy;

          (b)  Upon request, to reasonable and timely notice of, and to be present at, all public proceedings involving the criminal or delinquent conduct;

          (c)  To be heard in any public proceeding involving the criminal or delinquent conduct;

          (d)  To be heard in any public proceeding involving release, plea, sentencing, disposition, parole, and any public proceeding during which a right of the victim is implicated;

          (e)  To reasonable protection from the accused or any person acting on behalf of the accused;

          (f)  To reasonable notice, upon request, of any release or escape of an accused;

          (g)  To refuse an interview, deposition, or other discovery request made by the accused or any person acting on behalf of the accused;

          (h)  To full and timely restitution;

          (i)  To proceedings free from unreasonable delay and a prompt conclusion of the case;

          (j)  To confer with the attorney for the government upon request; and

          (k)  To be informed of all rights enumerated in this section.

     (2)  The victim, the victim's attorney or other lawful representative, or the attorney for the government, upon request of the victim, may assert in any trial or appellate court, or before any other authority, with jurisdiction over the case, and have enforced, the rights enumerated in this section and any other right afforded to the victim by law.  The court or other authority with jurisdiction shall act promptly on such a request.  This section does not create any cause of action for compensation or damages against the state, any political subdivision of the state, any officer, employee, or agent of the state or of any of its political subdivisions, or any officer or employee of the court.    (3)  Law enforcement officers who become victims of crime in the course of performing their public duties are entitled to the same rights as other victims of crime; however, their identity and the circumstances of the crime may continue to be disclosed as otherwise provided by law.

     (4)  As used in this section, "victim" means any person against whom the criminal offense or delinquent act is committed or who is directly and proximately harmed by the commission of the offense or act.  The term "victim" does not include the accused or a person whom the court finds would not act in the best interest of a deceased, incompetent, minor, or incapacitated victim. "

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this proposed amendment shall be submitted by the Secretary of State to the qualified electors at an election to be held on March 10, 2020, as provided by Section 273 of the Constitution and by general law.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the explanation of this proposed amendment for the ballot shall read as follows:  "This proposed constitutional amendment provides certain rights for victims throughout the criminal and juvenile justice systems."

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