Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/28/1994 09:10 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up HJR 43 (RIGHTS OF CRIME VICTIMS) as the              
 next order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee.             
 The chairman notes the existence of a committee substitute.                   
 Number 544                                                                    
 SENATOR MILLER makes a motion to adopt SCS CSHJR 43(STA) in lieu of           
 CSHJR 43(FIN).                                                                
 Number 542                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, states the cs has been                  
 adopted in lieu of CSHJR 43(FIN).  The chairman notes the presence            
 of Eric Musser from the office of Representative Porter, the prime            
 sponsor of HJR 43.  The chairman invites Senator Donley to testify.           
 Number 524                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY expresses concern that it would not be wise to pass            
 victim's rights as a constitutional amendment.  This is a totally             
 new area of the law.  With new developments in the law, there is              
 frequently a lot of litigation and a lot of judicial time being               
 spent interpreting these developments.  Senator Donley thinks it is           
 best to develop a baseline of statutory laws before passing a                 
 constitutional amendment.  The caveat added by the house on page 2,           
 line 9, is simply not sufficient to prevent judicial expansion of             
 the intent of the constitutional amendment.                                   
 SENATOR DONLEY says the senate version of this constitutional                 
 amendment has much stronger language deferring to the statutory               
 direction from the legislature.  Senator Donley thinks HJR 43 would           
 open a huge legal can of worms.                                               
 Number 474                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Senator Donley if he prefers the language in              
 SJR 2 to the language in HJR 43.                                              
 SENATOR DONLEY replies he prefers SJR 2.  He prefers specifications           
 that victims and rights be defined in statute.  There is no                   
 provision in HJR 43 defining "victim" by the legislature.  Senator            
 Donley asks who is a victim and to whom should we extend these                
 rights.  HJR 43 does not defer that decision to the legislature in            
 any way, shape, or form.                                                      
 SENATOR DONLEY asks that the legislature be deferred to in defining           
 "victim" and "victim's rights", and that the legislature have the             
 ability to do so by statute.                                                  
 Number 440                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there could possible be an adverse affect if           
 the legislature does not provide for those rights.                            
 SENATOR DONLEY responds that is a danger.  But by establishing                
 victim's rights in the constitution, a baseline would be created.             
 By having language deferring to the legislature in defining these             
 terms, the courts could look to existing statutes as the baseline.            
 Number 421                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR comments he is curious about the resolution                    
 addressing penal administration.  He is trying to think of a                  
 situation where a victim could actually be a perpetrator.                     
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks Senator Donley if he has any objection to                 
 incorporating section 1.                                                      
 SENATOR DONLEY says he has no opposition to that.                             
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN and SENATOR DONLEY discuss the differences between             
 SJR 2 and HJR 43.  There are differences in the drafting style.               
 Number 385                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN states that HJR 43 says victims are entitled to seek    k   
 restitution, while SJR 2 says victims are entitled to restitution.            
  The Senate State Affairs Committee deleted the word "seek" in its'           
 committee substitute.  The chairman thanks Senator Donley for his             
 Number 370                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR expresses concern that what the legislature is                 
 trying to do with these resolutions, should have been common sense            
 treatment by the enforcement arm of government.  Senator Taylor               
 states his dissatisfaction with the District Attorney's Office in             
 particular.  He says what the committee is really talking about is            
 making police and district attorney's act nicer toward victims.               
 Number 360                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY asks why "...the right to information about the                
 conviction, judgement, sentence, disposition, imprisonment,                   
 criminal record, and release...." is not included in HJR 43.                  
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN says he spoke to Representative Porter, and his                
 conclusion was that information is available in conjunction with              
 the other rights, and that it would be redundant to include that              
 Number 348                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR says there is a problem with the district attorney's           
 office not believing people were victimized.                                  
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN says just the assertion by someone that they are a             
 victim, does not make them a victim.                                          
 SENATOR TAYLOR states he believes strongly in restitutional                   
 sentences.  However there can be problems.  Senator Taylor relates            
 an incident to illustrate potential problems.                                 
 Number 305                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN appreciates Senator Taylor's comments, and says we             
 need to make sure there is fairness in the system.  The chairman              
 asks if anyone else wishes to testify on HJR 43.  Hearing none, the           
 chairman asks the pleasure of the committee.                                  
 Number 290                                                                    
 SENATOR MILLER makes a motion to discharge HJR 43 from the Senate             
 State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations.                      
 Number 280                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, orders HJR 43 released from             
 committee with individual recommendations.                                    

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