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
   20  Florida:
   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
   51  abuse.
   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
   67  request:
   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
  134  call.
  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
  147  subparagraph.
  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
  154  section.
  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                            
  196                              JUDICIARY                            
  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                           
  226                              SCHEDULE                             
  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.