CRC - 2017                                                  P 96
       By Commissioner Cerio
       ceriot-00117-17                                         201796__
    1                         A proposal to amend                       
    2         Section 16 of Article I of the State Constitution to
    3         revise and establish additional rights of victims of
    4         crime.
    6  Be It Proposed by the Constitution Revision Commission of
    7  Florida:
    9         Section 16 of Article I of the State Constitution is
   10  amended to read:
   11                              ARTICLE I                            
   12                        DECLARATION OF RIGHTS                      
   13         SECTION 16. Rights of accused and of victims.—
   14         (a) In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall, upon
   15  demand, be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation,
   16  and shall be furnished a copy of the charges, and shall have the
   17  right to have compulsory process for witnesses, to confront at
   18  trial adverse witnesses, to be heard in person, by counsel or
   19  both, and to have a speedy and public trial by impartial jury in
   20  the county where the crime was committed. If the county is not
   21  known, the indictment or information may charge venue in two or
   22  more counties conjunctively and proof that the crime was
   23  committed in that area shall be sufficient; but before pleading
   24  the accused may elect in which of those counties the trial will
   25  take place. Venue for prosecution of crimes committed beyond the
   26  boundaries of the state shall be fixed by law.
   27         (b) To preserve and protect the right of crime victims to
   28  achieve justice, to ensure a meaningful role throughout the
   29  criminal and juvenile justice systems for crime victims, and to
   30  ensure that crime victims’ rights and interests are respected
   31  and protected by law in a manner no less vigorous than
   32  protections afforded to criminal defendants and juvenile
   33  delinquents, every victim is entitled to the following rights,
   34  beginning at the time of his or her victimization:
   35         (1) The right to due process and to be treated with
   36  fairness and respect for the victim’s dignity.
   37         (2) The right to be free from intimidation, harassment, and
   38  abuse.
   39         (3) The right to be reasonably protected from the accused
   40  and any person acting on behalf of the accused.
   41         (4) The right to have the safety and welfare of the victim
   42  and the victim’s family considered when setting bail, including
   43  setting pre-trial release conditions that protect the safety and
   44  welfare of the victim and the victim’s family.
   45         (5) The right to prevent the disclosure of information or
   46  records that could be used to locate or harass the victim or the
   47  victim’s family, or which could disclose confidential or
   48  privileged information of the victim.
   49         (6) The right to privacy, which includes the right to
   50  refuse an interview, deposition, or other discovery request by
   51  the defense or anyone acting on behalf of the defendant and to
   52  set reasonable conditions on the conduct of any such interaction
   53  to which the victim consents.
   54         (7) A victim shall have the following specific rights upon
   55  request:
   56         a. The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of,
   57  and to be present at, all public proceedings involving the
   58  criminal conduct, including, but not limited to, trial, plea,
   59  sentencing, or adjudication, even if the victim will be a
   60  witness at the proceeding, notwithstanding any rule to the
   61  contrary. A victim shall also be provided reasonable, accurate,
   62  and timely notice of any release or escape of the defendant or
   63  delinquent, and any proceeding during which a right of the
   64  victim is implicated.
   65         b. The right to be heard in any public proceeding involving
   66  pretrial or other release from any form of legal constraint,
   67  plea, sentencing, adjudication, or parole, and any proceeding
   68  during which a right of the victim is implicated.
   69         c. The right to confer with the state attorney concerning
   70  any plea agreements, participation in pre-trial diversion
   71  programs, release, restitution, sentencing, or any other
   72  disposition of the case.
   73         d. The right to provide information regarding the impact of
   74  the offender’s conduct on the victim and the victims family to
   75  the individual responsible for conducting any pre-sentence
   76  investigation or compiling any pre-sentence investigation
   77  report, and to have any such information considered in any
   78  sentencing recommendations submitted to the court.
   79         e. The right to receive a copy of any pre-sentence report,
   80  and any other report or record relevant to the exercise of a
   81  victim’s right, except for such portions made confidential or
   82  exempt by law.
   83         f. The right to be informed of the conviction, sentence,
   84  adjudication, place and time of incarceration, or other
   85  disposition of the convicted offender, any scheduled release
   86  date of the offender, and the release of or the escape of the
   87  offender from custody.
   88         g. The right to be informed of all post-conviction
   89  processes and procedures, to participate in such processes and
   90  procedures, to provide information to the release authority to
   91  be considered before any release decision is made, and to be
   92  notified of any release decision regarding the offender. The
   93  parole or early release authority shall extend the right to be
   94  heard to any person harmed by the offender.
   95         h. The right to be informed of clemency and expungement
   96  procedures, to provide information to the governor, the court,
   97  any clemency board, and other authority in these procedures, and
   98  to have that information considered before a clemency or
   99  expungement decision is made; and to be notified of such
  100  decision in advance of any release of the offender.
  101         (8) The rights of the victim, as provided in subparagraph
  102  (7)a., subparagraph (7)b., or subparagraph (7)c., that apply to
  103  any first appearance proceeding are satisfied by a reasonable
  104  attempt by the appropriate agency to notify the victim and
  105  convey the victim’s views to the court.
  106         (9) The right to the prompt return of the victim’s property
  107  when no longer needed as evidence in the case.
  108         (10) The right to full and timely restitution in every case
  109  and from each convicted offender for all losses suffered, both
  110  directly and indirectly, by the victim as a result of the
  111  criminal conduct. All monies and property collected from any
  112  person who has been ordered to make restitution shall be first
  113  applied to the restitution owed to the victim before paying any
  114  amounts owed to the government.
  115         (11) The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay,
  116  and to a prompt and final conclusion of the case and any related
  117  post-judgment proceedings.
  118         a. The state attorney may file a good faith demand for a
  119  speedy trial and the trial court shall hold a hearing within
  120  five days to schedule a trial within fifteen days unless the
  121  trial judge enters an order with written findings of fact
  122  justifying a trial date more than fifteen days after the
  123  hearing.
  124         b. All state-level appeals and collateral attacks on any
  125  judgment must be complete within two years from the date of
  126  appeal in non-capital cases and five years in capital cases.
  127  Each year, the chief judge of any district court of appeal or
  128  the chief justice of the supreme court shall report on a case
  129  by-case basis to the speaker of the house of representatives and
  130  the president of the senate all cases where the court was unable
  131  to comply with this subparagraph and the circumstances causing
  132  the delay. The legislature may adopt legislation to implement
  133  this subparagraph.
  134         (12) The right to be informed of these rights, and to be
  135  informed that victims can seek the advice of an attorney with
  136  respect to their rights. This information shall be made
  137  available to the general public and provided to all crime
  138  victims in the form of a card.
  139         (c)The victim, the retained attorney of the victim, a
  140  lawful representative of the victim, or the office of the state
  141  attorney upon request of the victim may assert and seek
  142  enforcement of the rights enumerated in this section and any
  143  other right afforded to a victim by law in any trial or
  144  appellate court, or before any other authority with jurisdiction
  145  over the case, as a matter of right. The court or other
  146  authority with jurisdiction shall act promptly on such a
  147  request, affording a remedy by due course of law for the
  148  violation of any right. The reasons for any decision regarding
  149  the disposition of a victim’s right shall be clearly stated on
  150  the record.
  151         (d) The granting of these rights enumerated in this section
  152  to victims may not be construed to deny or impair any other
  153  rights possessed by victims. The provisions of this section
  154  apply throughout criminal and juvenile justice processes are
  155  self-executing and do not require implementing legislation.
  156         (e) As used in this section, a “victim” is a person who
  157  suffers direct or threatened physical, psychological, or
  158  financial harm as a result of the commission or attempted
  159  commission of a crime or delinquent act or against whom the
  160  crime or delinquent act is committed. The term “victim” shall
  161  include their lawful representative, the parent or guardian of a
  162  minor, or the next of kin of a homicide victim, except upon a
  163  showing that the interest of such individual would be in actual
  164  or potential conflict with the interests of the victim. The term
  165  “victim” does not include the accused. The terms “crime” and
  166  “criminal” include delinquent acts and conduct Victims of crime
  167  or their lawful representatives, including the next of kin of
  168  homicide victims, are entitled to the right to be informed, to
  169  be present, and to be heard when relevant, at all crucial stages
  170  of criminal proceedings, to the extent that these rights do not
  171  interfere with the constitutional rights of the accused.