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1st Session

S.J. RES.1


Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to protect the rights of crime victims.




January 7, 2003

Mr. JON KYL, R-AZ (for himself and Mrs. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, D-CA) introduced the following joint resolution; which was read twice and referred to the Committee of the Judiciary.




Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to protect the rights of crime victims.


       Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress

       assembled (two-thirds of each house concurring therein), That the following article is proposed

       as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States:


Article Ė


       SECTION 1.  the rights of victims of violent crime, being capable of protection without denying

       The constitutional rights of those accused of victimizing them, are hereby established and shall not

       be denied by any State or the United States and may be restricted only as provided in this article.


       SECTION 2.  A victim of violent crime shall have the right to reasonable and timely notice of any

       public proceeding involving the crime and of any release or escape of the accused;  the rights not to

       be excluded from such public proceeding and reasonably to be heard at public release, plea,

       sentencing, reprieve, and pardon proceedings; and the right to adjudicative decisions that duly

       consider the victimís safety, interest in avoiding unreasonable delay, and just and timely claims to

       restitution from the offender.  These rights shall not be restricted except when and to the degree

       dictated by a substantial interest in public safety or the administration of criminal justice, or by

       compelling necessity.


       SECTION 3.  Nothing in this article shall be construed to provide grounds for a new trial or to

       authorize any claim for damages.  Only the victim or the victimís lawful representative may assert

       the rights established by this article, and no person accused of the crime may obtain any form of

       relief hereunder.


       SECTION 4.  Congress shall have power to enforce by appropriate legislation the provisions of

       this article.  Nothing in this article shall affect the Presidentís authority to grant reprieves or



       SECTION 5.  This article shall be inoperative unless it has been ratified as an amendment to the

       Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within 7 years from the date

       of its submission to the States by the Congress.  This article shall take effect on the 180th day after

       the date of its ratification.






Please Note:  The House Resolution is worded exactly the same, except it is:

House Joint Resolution 48 (H J R 48), Sponsored by Rep. Steve Chabot



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