P 96                                       First Engrossed (ntc)
    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, ensure a meaningful role throughout the
   29  criminal and juvenile justice systems for crime victims, and
   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, within the judicial process, to be
   40  reasonably protected from the accused and any person acting on
   41  behalf of the accused. However, nothing contained herein is
   42  intended to create a special relationship between the crime
   43  victim and any law enforcement agency or office absent a special
   44  relationship or duty as defined by Florida law.
   45         (4)The right to have the safety and welfare of the victim
   46  and the victim’s family considered when setting bail, including
   47  setting pretrial release conditions that protect the safety and
   48  welfare of the victim and the victim’s family.
   49         (5)The right to prevent the disclosure of information or
   50  records that could be used to locate or harass the victim or the
   51  victim’s family, or which could disclose confidential or
   52  privileged information of the victim.
   53         (6) A victim shall have the following specific rights upon
   54  request:
   55         a. The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of,
   56  and to be present at, all public proceedings involving the
   57  criminal conduct, including, but not limited to, trial, plea,
   58  sentencing, or adjudication, even if the victim will be a
   59  witness at the proceeding, notwithstanding any rule to the
   60  contrary. A victim shall also be provided reasonable, accurate,
   61  and timely notice of any release or escape of the defendant or
   62  delinquent, and any proceeding during which a right of the
   63  victim is implicated.
   64         b. The right to be heard in any public proceeding involving
   65  pretrial or other release from any form of legal constraint,
   66  plea, sentencing, adjudication, or parole, and any proceeding
   67  during which a right of the victim is implicated.
   68         c. The right to confer with the prosecuting attorney
   69  concerning any plea agreements, participation in pretrial
   70  diversion programs, release, restitution, sentencing, or any
   71  other disposition of the case.
   72         d. The right to provide information regarding the impact of
   73  the offender’s conduct on the victim and the victim’s family to
   74  the individual responsible for conducting any presentence
   75  investigation or compiling any presentence investigation report,
   76  and to have any such information considered in any sentencing
   77  recommendations submitted to the court.
   78         e. The right to receive a copy of any presentence report,
   79  and any other report or record relevant to the exercise of a
   80  victim’s right, except for such portions made confidential or
   81  exempt by law.
   82         f. The right to be informed of the conviction, sentence,
   83  adjudication, place and time of incarceration, or other
   84  disposition of the convicted offender, any scheduled release
   85  date of the offender, and the release of or the escape of the
   86  offender from custody.
   87         g. The right to be informed of all postconviction processes
   88  and procedures, to participate in such processes and procedures,
   89  to provide information to the release authority to be considered
   90  before any release decision is made, and to be notified of any
   91  release decision regarding the offender. The parole or early
   92  release authority shall extend the right to be heard to any
   93  person harmed by the offender.
   94         h. The right to be informed of clemency and expungement
   95  procedures, to provide information to the governor, the court,
   96  any clemency board, and other authority in these procedures, and
   97  to have that information considered before a clemency or
   98  expungement decision is made; and to be notified of such
   99  decision in advance of any release of the offender.
  100         (7) The rights of the victim, as provided in subparagraph
  101  (6)a., subparagraph (6)b., or subparagraph (6)c., that apply to
  102  any first appearance proceeding are satisfied by a reasonable
  103  attempt by the appropriate agency to notify the victim and
  104  convey the victim’s views to the court.
  105         (8) The right to the prompt return of the victim’s property
  106  when no longer needed as evidence in the case.
  107         (9) The right to full and timely restitution in every case
  108  and from each convicted offender for all losses suffered, both
  109  directly and indirectly, by the victim as a result of the
  110  criminal conduct.
  111         (10) The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay,
  112  and to a prompt and final conclusion of the case and any related
  113  postjudgment proceedings.
  114         a. The state attorney may file a good faith demand for a
  115  speedy trial and the trial court shall hold a calendar call,
  116  with notice, within fifteen days of the filing demand, to
  117  schedule a trial to commence at a date at least five days but no
  118  more than sixty days after the date of the calendar call unless
  119  the trial judge enters an order with specific findings of fact
  120  justifying a trial date more than sixty days after the calendar
  121  call.
  122         b. All state-level appeals and collateral attacks on any
  123  judgment must be complete within two years from the date of
  124  appeal in non-capital cases and five years in capital cases,
  125  unless a court enters an order with specific findings as to why
  126  the court was unable to comply with this subparagraph and the
  127  circumstances causing the delay. Each year, the chief judge of
  128  any district court of appeal or the chief justice of the supreme
  129  court shall report on a case-by-case basis to the speaker of the
  130  house of representatives and the president of the senate all
  131  cases where the court entered an order regarding inability to
  132  comply with this subparagraph. The legislature may enact
  133  legislation to implement this subparagraph.
  134         (11) 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, or other means that is intended
  139  to effectively advise the victim of their rights under this
  140  section.
  141         (c) The victim, the retained attorney of the victim, a
  142  lawful representative of the victim, or the office of the state
  143  attorney upon request of the victim, may assert and seek
  144  enforcement of the rights enumerated in this section and any
  145  other right afforded to a victim by law in any trial or
  146  appellate court, or before any other authority with jurisdiction
  147  over the case, as a matter of right. The court or other
  148  authority with jurisdiction shall act promptly on such a
  149  request, affording a remedy by due course of law for the
  150  violation of any right. The reasons for any decision regarding
  151  the disposition of a victim’s right shall be clearly stated on
  152  the record.
  153         (d) The granting of these rights enumerated in this section
  154  to victims may not be construed to deny or impair any other
  155  rights possessed by victims. The provisions of this section
  156  apply throughout criminal and juvenile justice processes are
  157  self-executing and do not require implementing legislation. This
  158  section may not be construed to create any cause of action for
  159  damages against the state or a political subdivision of the
  160  state, or any officer, employee, or agent of the state or its
  161  political subdivisions.
  162         (e) As used in this section, a “victim” is a person who
  163  suffers direct or threatened physical, psychological, or
  164  financial harm as a result of the commission or attempted
  165  commission of a crime or delinquent act or against whom the
  166  crime or delinquent act is committed. The term “victim” includes
  167  the victim's lawful representative, the parent or guardian of a
  168  minor, or the next of kin of a homicide victim, except upon a
  169  showing that the interest of such individual would be in actual
  170  or potential conflict with the interests of the victim. The term
  171  “victim” does not include the accused. The terms “crime” and
  172  “criminal” include delinquent acts and conduct Victims of crime
  173  or their lawful representatives, including the next of kin of
  174  homicide victims, are entitled to the right to be informed, to
  175  be present, and to be heard when relevant, at all crucial stages
  176  of criminal proceedings, to the extent that these rights do not
  177  interfere with the constitutional rights of the accused.