The 1999 Ballot Measures Campaign     

CRIME VICTIMS UNITED


In 1986, Crime Victims United sponsored Measure 10 to grant rights to crime victims through statutory (non-Constitutional) law. The ballot measure was approved by voters. Judges promptly ignored the law and defense attorneys promptly attacked it in the Oregon Supreme Court. From this, CVU learned the bitter lesson that these rights need to be in the Oregon Constitution.

In 1996, Crime Victims United and other groups sponsored Measure 40 to put crime victims rights in the Oregon Constitution. This ballot measure passed with by a margin of 59% to 41%. Once again, judges ignored it and defense attorneys attacked it. In June of 1998, defense attorneys and the Oregon ACLU succeeded in getting the Oregon Supreme Court to overturn Measure 40 on narrow technical grounds.

In 1999, Crime Victims United and other groups sponsored Measures 69-75 to put these rights back in the Oregon Constitution. This led to a bitter election campaign in which the ACLU and defense attorneys set up a fraudulent group called "Crime Victims For Justice". They used inaccurate, far-fetched, and misleading arguments in an attempt to scare and confuse Oregon voters. To some extent, they succeeded. The results for the election were:

Measure 69

Victims Rights

Passed

Yes: 59%
No: 41%

Measure 70

Jury Trial

Failed

Yes: 42%
No: 58%

Measure 71

Pretrial Release

Passed

Yes: 58%
No: 42%

Measure 72

11-1 Murder Verdict

Failed

Yes: 46%
No: 54%

Measure 73

Partial Immunity

Failed

Yes: 47%
No: 53%

Measure 74

Truth-in-sentencing

Passed

Yes: 54%
No: 46%

Measure 75

Convicts in Juries

Passed

Yes: 59%
No: 41%

The tactics of our opposition made many CVU members and supporters angry and elicited an outpouring of letters, many of which were sent to the media and to legislators. Here is a sampling.

October 18, 1999
October 22, 1999
October 26, 1999

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