2017 CRC P 6001
2 REVISION 1
3 A proposal to revise the State Constitution by the Constitution
4 Revision Commission of Florida.
6 A proposed revision relating to crime victims and
7 judges; amending Section 16 of Article I of the State
8 Constitution to revise and establish additional rights
9 of victims of crime; amending Section 8 of Article V
10 and creating a new section in Article XII of the State
11 Constitution to increase the age after which a justice
12 or judge may no longer serve in a judicial office; and
13 creating Section 21 of Article V of the State
14 Constitution to require a state court or an officer
15 hearing an administrative action to interpret a state
16 statute or rule de novo in litigation between an
17 administrative agency and a private party.
19 Be It Proposed by the Constitution Revision Commission of
22 Section 16 of Article I of the State Constitution is
23 amended to read:
24 ARTICLE I
25 DECLARATION OF RIGHTS
26 SECTION 16. Rights of accused and of victims.—
27 (a) In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall, upon
28 demand, be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation,
29 and shall be furnished a copy of the charges, and shall have the
30 right to have compulsory process for witnesses, to confront at
31 trial adverse witnesses, to be heard in person, by counsel or
32 both, and to have a speedy and public trial by impartial jury in
33 the county where the crime was committed. If the county is not
34 known, the indictment or information may charge venue in two or
35 more counties conjunctively and proof that the crime was
36 committed in that area shall be sufficient; but before pleading
37 the accused may elect in which of those counties the trial will
38 take place. Venue for prosecution of crimes committed beyond the
39 boundaries of the state shall be fixed by law.
40 (b) To preserve and protect the right of crime victims to
41 achieve justice, ensure a meaningful role throughout the
42 criminal and juvenile justice systems for crime victims, and
43 ensure that crime victims’ rights and interests are respected
44 and protected by law in a manner no less vigorous than
45 protections afforded to criminal defendants and juvenile
46 delinquents, every victim is entitled to the following rights,
47 beginning at the time of his or her victimization:
48 (1) The right to due process and to be treated with
49 fairness and respect for the victim’s dignity.
50 (2) The right to be free from intimidation, harassment, and
52 (3) The right, within the judicial process, to be
53 reasonably protected from the accused and any person acting on
54 behalf of the accused. However, nothing contained herein is
55 intended to create a special relationship between the crime
56 victim and any law enforcement agency or office absent a special
57 relationship or duty as defined by Florida law.
58 (4) The right to have the safety and welfare of the victim
59 and the victim’s family considered when setting bail, including
60 setting pretrial release conditions that protect the safety and
61 welfare of the victim and the victim’s family.
62 (5) The right to prevent the disclosure of information or
63 records that could be used to locate or harass the victim or the
64 victim’s family, or which could disclose confidential or
65 privileged information of the victim.
66 (6) A victim shall have the following specific rights upon
68 a. The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of,
69 and to be present at, all public proceedings involving the
70 criminal conduct, including, but not limited to, trial, plea,
71 sentencing, or adjudication, even if the victim will be a
72 witness at the proceeding, notwithstanding any rule to the
73 contrary. A victim shall also be provided reasonable, accurate,
74 and timely notice of any release or escape of the defendant or
75 delinquent, and any proceeding during which a right of the
76 victim is implicated.
77 b. The right to be heard in any public proceeding involving
78 pretrial or other release from any form of legal constraint,
79 plea, sentencing, adjudication, or parole, and any proceeding
80 during which a right of the victim is implicated.
81 c. The right to confer with the prosecuting attorney
82 concerning any plea agreements, participation in pretrial
83 diversion programs, release, restitution, sentencing, or any
84 other disposition of the case.
85 d. The right to provide information regarding the impact of
86 the offender’s conduct on the victim and the victim’s family to
87 the individual responsible for conducting any presentence
88 investigation or compiling any presentence investigation report,
89 and to have any such information considered in any sentencing
90 recommendations submitted to the court.
91 e. The right to receive a copy of any presentence report,
92 and any other report or record relevant to the exercise of a
93 victim’s right, except for such portions made confidential or
94 exempt by law.
95 f. The right to be informed of the conviction, sentence,
96 adjudication, place and time of incarceration, or other
97 disposition of the convicted offender, any scheduled release
98 date of the offender, and the release of or the escape of the
99 offender from custody.
100 g. The right to be informed of all postconviction processes
101 and procedures, to participate in such processes and procedures,
102 to provide information to the release authority to be considered
103 before any release decision is made, and to be notified of any
104 release decision regarding the offender. The parole or early
105 release authority shall extend the right to be heard to any
106 person harmed by the offender.
107 h. The right to be informed of clemency and expungement
108 procedures, to provide information to the governor, the court,
109 any clemency board, and other authority in these procedures, and
110 to have that information considered before a clemency or
111 expungement decision is made; and to be notified of such
112 decision in advance of any release of the offender.
113 (7) The rights of the victim, as provided in subparagraph
114 (6)a., subparagraph (6)b., or subparagraph (6)c., that apply to
115 any first appearance proceeding are satisfied by a reasonable
116 attempt by the appropriate agency to notify the victim and
117 convey the victim’s views to the court.
118 (8) The right to the prompt return of the victim’s property
119 when no longer needed as evidence in the case.
120 (9) The right to full and timely restitution in every case
121 and from each convicted offender for all losses suffered, both
122 directly and indirectly, by the victim as a result of the
123 criminal conduct.
124 (10) The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay,
125 and to a prompt and final conclusion of the case and any related
126 postjudgment proceedings.
127 a. The state attorney may file a good faith demand for a
128 speedy trial and the trial court shall hold a calendar call,
129 with notice, within fifteen days of the filing demand, to
130 schedule a trial to commence on a date at least five days but no
131 more than sixty days after the date of the calendar call unless
132 the trial judge enters an order with specific findings of fact
133 justifying a trial date more than sixty days after the calendar
135 b. All state-level appeals and collateral attacks on any
136 judgment must be complete within two years from the date of
137 appeal in non-capital cases and within five years from the date
138 of appeal in capital cases, unless a court enters an order with
139 specific findings as to why the court was unable to comply with
140 this subparagraph and the circumstances causing the delay. Each
141 year, the chief judge of any district court of appeal or the
142 chief justice of the supreme court shall report on a case-by
143 case basis to the speaker of the house of representatives and
144 the president of the senate all cases where the court entered an
145 order regarding inability to comply with this subparagraph. The
146 legislature may enact legislation to implement this
148 (11) The right to be informed of these rights, and to be
149 informed that victims can seek the advice of an attorney with
150 respect to their rights. This information shall be made
151 available to the general public and provided to all crime
152 victims in the form of a card or by other means intended to
153 effectively advise the victim of their rights under this
155 (c) The victim, the retained attorney of the victim, a
156 lawful representative of the victim, or the office of the state
157 attorney upon request of the victim, may assert and seek
158 enforcement of the rights enumerated in this section and any
159 other right afforded to a victim by law in any trial or
160 appellate court, or before any other authority with jurisdiction
161 over the case, as a matter of right. The court or other
162 authority with jurisdiction shall act promptly on such a
163 request, affording a remedy by due course of law for the
164 violation of any right. The reasons for any decision regarding
165 the disposition of a victim’s right shall be clearly stated on
166 the record.
167 (d) The granting of the rights enumerated in this section
168 to victims may not be construed to deny or impair any other
169 rights possessed by victims. The provisions of this section
170 apply throughout criminal and juvenile justice processes, are
171 self-executing, and do not require implementing legislation.
172 This section may not be construed to create any cause of action
173 for damages against the state or a political subdivision of the
174 state, or any officer, employee, or agent of the state or its
175 political subdivisions.
176 (e) As used in this section, a “victim” is a person who
177 suffers direct or threatened physical, psychological, or
178 financial harm as a result of the commission or attempted
179 commission of a crime or delinquent act or against whom the
180 crime or delinquent act is committed. The term “victim” includes
181 the victim’s lawful representative, the parent or guardian of a
182 minor, or the next of kin of a homicide victim, except upon a
183 showing that the interest of such individual would be in actual
184 or potential conflict with the interests of the victim. The term
185 “victim” does not include the accused. The terms “crime” and
186 “criminal” include delinquent acts and conduct
Victims of crime
187 or their lawful representatives, including the next of kin of
188 homicide victims, are entitled to the right to be informed, to
189 be present, and to be heard when relevant, at all crucial stages
190 of criminal proceedings, to the extent that these rights do not
191 interfere with the constitutional rights of the accused.
193 Section 8 of Article V of the State Constitution is
194 amended, and section 21 is added to that article, to read:
195 ARTICLE V
197 SECTION 8. Eligibility.—No person shall be eligible for
198 office of justice or judge of any court unless the person is an
199 elector of the state and resides in the territorial jurisdiction
200 of the court. No justice or judge shall serve after attaining
201 the age of seventy-five seventy years except upon temporary
202 assignment or to complete a term, one-half of which has been
203 served. No person is eligible for the office of justice of the
204 supreme court or judge of a district court of appeal unless the
205 person is, and has been for the preceding ten years, a member of
206 the bar of Florida. No person is eligible for the office of
207 circuit judge unless the person is, and has been for the
208 preceding five years, a member of the bar of Florida. Unless
209 otherwise provided by general law, no person is eligible for the
210 office of county court judge unless the person is, and has been
211 for the preceding five years, a member of the bar of Florida.
212 Unless otherwise provided by general law, a person shall be
213 eligible for election or appointment to the office of county
214 court judge in a county having a population of 40,000 or less if
215 the person is a member in good standing of the bar of Florida.
216 SECTION 21. Judicial interpretation of statutes and rules.
217 In interpreting a state statute or rule, a state court or an
218 officer hearing an administrative action pursuant to general law
219 may not defer to an administrative agency’s interpretation of
220 such statute or rule, and must instead interpret such statute or
221 rule de novo.
223 A new section is added to Article XII of the State
224 Constitution to read:
225 ARTICLE XII
227 Eligibility of justices and judges.—The amendment to
228 Section 8 of Article V, which increases the age at which a
229 justice or judge is no longer eligible to serve in judicial
230 office except upon temporary assignment, shall take effect July
231 1, 2019.
233 BE IT FURTHER PROPOSED that the following statement be placed on
234 the ballot:
236 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
237 ARTICLE I, SECTION 16
238 ARTICLE V, SECTIONS 8, 21
239 ARTICLE XII, NEW SECTION
240 RIGHTS OF CRIME VICTIMS; JUDGES.—Creates constitutional
241 rights for victims of crime; requires courts to facilitate
242 victims’ rights; authorizes victims to enforce their rights
243 throughout criminal and juvenile justice processes. Requires
244 judges and hearing officers to independently interpret statutes
245 and rules rather than deferring to government agency’s
246 interpretation. Raises mandatory retirement age of state
247 justices and judges from seventy to seventy-five years; deletes
248 authorization to complete judicial term if one-half of term has
249 been served by retirement age.