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United States. Congress. House. Committee on the J.

Proposals for a constitutional amendment to provide rights for victims of crime : hearing before the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, second session, on H.J. Res. 173 and H.J. Res. 174 ... July 11, 1996 online

. (page 9 of 24)
Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on the JProposals for a constitutional amendment to provide rights for victims of crime : hearing before the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, second session, on H.J. Res. 173 and H.J. Res. 174 ... July 11, 1996 → online text (page 9 of 24)
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require iq nor ever without the authority of the general assembly.

Sec 10. In all criminal prosecutions, accused persons shall
enjoy rhc righttoaspeedy and public trial, by an impartial jury, to
be infornicd of the nature and cause of the accusation- us be
confronted with the witnesses against them, to have compulsory



69



OCEAN STATE

82 CONSTITUTION OF RHODE ISLAND

process for obtaining them in thsir favor, co have the issiitance of
counsel in their defense, and shall be at liberty to speak for chem-
selves; nor shall they be deprived of life. Ubcrty. or property, unless
by the judgement of their peers, or by the law of the laiid.

Sec U. Thepersonofadcbtor, when there is not strong presump-
tion of fraud, ought not to be continued in prison, after such person
shall have delivered up property for the benefit of said person's
creditors, in iuch manor as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 12. No ex post facta law, or taw impairing the oblisation of
contracts, shall be passed.

Sec. 1 3. No person in a court of common law shall be compelled
to jive self-incrirninating evidence.

Sec 14. Every person being presumed innocent, unul pronounced
guilCy by law. no act of severity which is not necessary to secure an
accused person shall be permitted.

Sec. 15. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate. In civil
eases the generaJ assembly may fix the size of the petit jury at less than
twelve but not less than six.

Sec. 16. Private property shall not be taken for public uses. ^*nthout
just compensation. The powen of the state and of its murJcipoIities
to regulate and control the use of land and waters in furtherance of the
prcAervacion. regeneration, and restoration of the natural environ-
ment, and in furtherance of the protection of the rightj of the people
to enjoy and freely cxcrcije the rights of fishery and the privileges of
the shore, as those rights and duties arc set foah in Section 17, shall
be an exercise of the police powen of the state. sbaJl be UberaJIv
construed, and shall not be deemed to be a public use of private
property.

Sec 17. The people shall continue to enjoy and freely exercise
all the rights of fishery, and the privflcgca of the shore, to which
they have been heretofore cndtled under the charter and osagcs
of this state, including but not b'mitcd to Fishing from tlieshurc,
the gathering of seaweed, leaving the shore to swim in (he $ca and



70

OCEAN STATE
RHODE ISLAiVD MANUAL 83



passage along the shore; and they shall be secure in their rights to che
use and enjoy ment of the namnil nssourees of the state with due regard
for the prrscrvation of their values: and it shall be the duty of the
general assembly to pro^itie for the conservation of die air, land,
water, plant, animal, mineral iind other narural resources of the stai:.
and to adopt all means necessary i:id proper by law to protect the
natural environment of the people of the state by providing adequate
resource planning for the control and regulation of ihe use of the
natural rcsourcss of ihe state and for the preservation, regcncraiion
and rcscoradon of the natural environment of die state.

Sec 1 8. The military shall be held instrict subordinarion to the civil
authority. And the law manial shall be used and exercised in such
cases only as occasion shall necessarily require.

Sec. 1 9. No soldier shall be quanerrd in any house in rime of peace,
without the consent of the owner; nor, in time of war, but In manner
to be prescribed by law.

Sec 20. The liberty of the press bcins essential to the security of
freedom in a state, any penon may publish sentiments on any subject,
being responsible forihe abuse of that liberty; and in all trials for libel,
both civil aad criminal, the h:uth. unless pobltshed from malicious
motives, shall be sufTicieai defense to the person charged.

Sec. 21. The citizens have a right in a peaceable manner to
assemble for their common good, and to apply to those invested with '
the powers of government, for redress of grievances, or for other
purpoics. by petition, address, or remonstrance. No taw abridjing the
freedom of speech shall be enacted.

Sec 22. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be
infringed.

SEC 23. A victim of crime ihalL as a maner of right, be created
by agrnts of the stale with digriity. respect and sensitivity during
an phases of the criminal jusdce process. Such person shall be
entitled to teceive. from the perpctntor of the crime. Oruncial
compensation for any injury or loss caused by the perpetrator of

OCEAN STATE

84 CONSTITUTION OF RHODE ISLAND

(he crime, and shall receive sucS other compensation as the state may
provide. Before sentencing, a victim shall have the right to address the
court regarding the impact which the pcrpetmtor's conduct has hod
upon the victim.

Sec. 24. The enumeration of the foregoing rights shall not be
construed to impair or deny others retained by the people. The rights
guaranteed by this Constiwdon are not dependent on those guaran-
teed by the Constitution of the United States.



71

GENERAL LAWS

OF

RHODE ISLAND

1956



Reenactment of 1994



Completely Annotated



VOLUMES



THE MICHIE COMPANY
Law Publishers

Chaelottesville, Virginia
1994



72



GENERAL LAWS



OF



RHODE ISLAND



CHAPTER 28
VICTIM'S RIGHTS



xscnoN.




sxcnoN.




12-28-1.


Short title.


12-23-5.


Civil judgxsant against defsn-


12-2S-2.


Lagulativa pur^M.




d&nt.


12-2SJ.


General rights.


12-28-6.1.


RMtitution.


12-28-A.


Right to ajjdnoa court prior to


12-28-6.


Right to addxvsa parole board.




scnteoriog.


12-28-7.


N'oacoxnpliance Dot Meeting va-'


12-28-4.1.


Right to cdcireoa court regarding




lidity of conviction, aaat«nca




ple« oegotistioQ.




or parole.


12-2S-4.2.


RaprcMntativtt of incspaciUted


12-28-^


Severability.




yictin.


12-28-9.


Child Tictixaa,


L2.2a-t.3.


Pretrial eonfvaiic«a — MiAci*-
o««non In district court.


12-2»-10.


Victims' •«rvic«3 unit



12-28-1. Short title. — This chapter may be cited as the' "Vic-
tim's BiU of Rights".



Hi«tory of Section.

P.L 1983, ch. 265. i 1.

Rfloaactments. Tike 1994 Rranactmant
(P.L. 1994, ch. 1S4. i 1) aubatitubed the



prvaent chapter heading for 'Highta of th^
' Victim', and eubatituted the present aectioa
h««iliog for "Titla'.



73



12-28-2 CRIMINAL PROCEDURE 674

12-28-2. Legislative purpose. — In recognition of the responsi-
bility of the community to the victims of crime, the general assembly
declares its intent to ensure:

(1) That cdl crime victims are treated with dignity, respect, and
sensitivity at all phases of the criminal justice process;

(2) That whenever possible they receive financial compensation
for their injury or loss from the perpetrator of the crime; and

(3) That the full impact of the crime upon the victim is brought to
the attention of the court.

History of Scctioo. vicdnia' for "such victims" in subdivision (1)

P.L. 1983, ch. 265. } 1. and m«d« stylLstic and mingr pur.ctuation

Reenactai«at5. The 1994 Rewnactnient changea tlirougbauc the section.

CPL. 1994, ch. 134, 5 1) aubstitu-.ed "criroa

12-28-3. General rights. — (a) Each victim of a criminal offense
who makes a timely report of the crime and who cooperates with law
enforcement authorities in the investigation and prosecution thereof
shall have the following rights:

(1) To be notified no less frequently than every three (3) months
by law enforcement authorities of the status of the investigation,
until such time as the alleged perpetrator is apprehended or the
investigation closed.

In the case of a criminal offense that results in the victim's death
the law enforcement authorities shall provide notification to a desig-
nated family member of the victim;

(2) To be notified by law enforcement authorities of the arraign-
ment of the alleged perpetrator before a court empowered to set bail;
and to be informed of the release of the alleged perpetrator on bail or
personal recognisance;

(3) To receive protection from harm and threats of harm arising
out of the victim's cooperation with law enforcement and prosecution
efforts, and to be provided with information as to the means of pro-
'ection available;

(4) To be notified of all court proceedings at which the victim's
presence is required in a reasonable amount of time prior to the
proceeding, and to be notified of the cancellation of any scheduled
court proceeding in sufficient time to prevent an unnecessary ap-
pearance at the courthouse;

(5) To be provided, whenever feasible, with a secure waiting area
during court proceedings that does not require the victim to be in
close proximity to the defendant and the family and friends of the
defendant;

(6) To be informed of the procedure to be followed in order to apply
for and receive any witness fee to which the victim is entitled;

(7) To be provided with appropriate employer intercession ser-
vices to ensure that the employer of the victim will cooperate with,
the criminal justice process in order to minimize the employee's loss
of pay and other benefits resulting from court appearances;



74



675 VICTIM'S RIGHTS 12-2S-3

(8) To have any stolen or other personal property expeditiously
returned by law enforcement agencies when no longer needed as
evidence;

(9) To be informed of financial assistance and other social services
available to crime victims and the manner of applying therefor. All
eligible victims shall be informed of the existence of the criminal
ir;iuries compensation fund and the manner of applying therefor;

(10) To be consulted by the administrator of probation amd parole
in the course of his or her preparation of the presentence report on
felony cases and to have included in that report a statement regard-
ing the impact which the defendant's criminal conduct has had upon
the victim;

(11) To be aiforded the right to address the court prior to sentenc-
ing in those cases where the defendant has been at^'udicated gxLQty
following a trial;

(12) To be informed of the disposition of the case against the al-
leged offender,

(13) To be notified in felony cases whenever the defendant or per-
petrator is released from custody. When release is ordered prior to
final conviction, notice to the victim shall be given by the attorney
general. When release is granted subsequent to final conviction, said
notice to the victim shall be given by the parole board; and

(14) To be aifforded the opportunity to make a statement, in writ-
ing and signed, regarding the impact which the defendant's criminal
conduct had upon the victim. The statement shall be inserted into
the case file maintained by the attorney general or prosecutor and
shaJl be presented to the court for its review prior to the acceptance
of any plea negotiation. Said statement shall be submitted to the
parole board for inclusion in ita records regarding the defendant's
conduct against the victim.

(15) To be informed by the prosecuting officer of the right to re-
quest that restitution be an element of the final disposition of a case.

(b) The rights afforded to the victim of a crime by this section
shall be afforded as well to the immediate families of homicide vic-
tims.

(c) Unless otherwise specified, in felony cases it shall be the re-
sponsibility of the attorney general and the victims' services unit, as
described in § 12-28-10 to make certain that the victim receives
such notification as is reqiiired by this section. In misdemeajoor
cases, it shall be the responsibility of the law enforcement agency
making the arrest and of the victims' service unit, as described in
§ 12-28-10 to make certain that the victim receives such notification
as is required by this section.

History of Sectioa. R««nactanenU. Th« 1994 R««niictzae&t

P.L. 1983, ch. 265, i 1; P.L. 1985, ch. -ill. (Pi. 1994, ch. 134. i 1) lubitituted the

i 1; P.L. 1986, ch. 405, 3 1; PI,. 1983, ch. present »ection heading for "Ri?hU of th« •ric-

129, art. 25, 5 5; P.L. 1988, ch. 444, § 2; P.L. tim during invrstiyation and pnjsecution of

1991, ch. 302. ] 1; P.L. 1994. ch. 187. i 1. the crime", add«d tha subsection desi^na-



75



12-28-4 ■ CRIMINAL PROCEDURE 676

tious, and made stylistic and minor punctua- to incorporabe the cLanges mide by che 1994

tion chajigea along- with several substitutioos reenactnnent of title 12 by P.L. 1994, ch. 134,

for "said" throughout the section, ' which were not inciudad in the 1994 amend-

CompUer^a Notes. This section aa it ap- msnt. For the extant of th« r«»aactin«nt

pears above has been edited by the compiler chancM, se« the reeaactaent note above.

12-28-4- Right to address coxirt prior to sentencing. — (a)
Prior to the ixnposition of sentence upon a defendant who has been
adjudicated guilty of a crime in a trial, the victim of the criminal
offense shall be afforded the opportunity to address the court regard-
ing the impact which the defendant's criminal conduct has had upon
the victim. The victim shall be permitted to speak prior to counsel
for the state and the defendant making their sentencing recommen-
dations to the covirt and prior to the defendant's exercise of his or her
right to address the court.

(b) For the piirposes of this section, a "victim" is one who has
sustained personal injury or loss of property directly attributable to
the felonious conduct of which the defendant has been convicted. In
homicide cases, a member of the immediate family of the victim
shall be afforded the right created by this section.

History of Section, from the beginning of the section haading,

P.L. 1983, ch. 265, ] 1; PX. 19SS, ch. 411, added tho suhsectioa deaignationa. subati-

i 1; P.L. 1986. ch. 405. J 1; P.L. 1988, cL tuted "^o criminal" for "said criminal" near

•444, § 2. the beginning' of aub*ect:on fa), and injerted

Revaactmenta. The 1994 Reanactment quotation marks sunnunding "Tictim" in

(P.L. 1994, ch. 134, i 1) deleted "Victim's" auhs^ctioo (b).

12-2S-4.1. Right to address court regarding plea negotia-
tion. — (a) Prior to acceptance by the court of a plea negotiation and
imposition of sentence up>on a defendant who has pleaded nolo con-
tendere or guilty to a crime, the victim of the criminal offense shall,
upon request, be afforded the opportunity to address the court re-
garding the impact which the defendant's criminal conduct has had
upon the victim. The victim shaJl be permitted to speak prior to
counsel for the state and the defendant making their sentencing
recommendations to the court and prior to the defendant's exercise of
his or her right to address the court.

(b) For the purpoees of this section, a "victim" is one who has
sustained personal injury or loss of property directly attributable to
the criminal conduct of which the defendant has been charged. In
homicide cases, a member of the immediate family of the victim
shall be aiforded the right created by this section.

History of Sactioo. tuted "and tha imposition" for "and impooi-

P.L. 1985, ch. 387, 5 1; P.L 1986. ch. 405. tlon" and "the criminal" for 'laid crLminar

} 1; Pi. 1988, ch. 444, § 2. near tha beginnins of subsecdoo C«), inserted

Raanactmantj. The 1994 Reex«ctment a comma following "shall" and "retjuest" near

(P.L. 1994, ch. 134. I 1) deleted "VictimV tha middla of rubiection (a), and ina*rted

from the beginning of tha sectioa heading, quotation marks surrounding "victim" in

added the subsection d«aigTiations, suhsti- subsection Cb).



76



677 VICTIM'S RIGHTS 12-28-5

12-28-4.2. Representative of mcapacitated victim. — A mem-
ber of the immediate family of a victim who is unable to exercise the
rights established by this chapter personally, due to physically inca-
pacity resulting from the crime, shall, upon request, be afforded the
opportunity to exercise those rights on the victim's behalf.

Hiatory of Section. following "parsonally" and "eriia«" aeax th»

P.L. 1965, ch. 387, } 2. laJddl* of the saction. and aubstihited thoM

Reeaactznanu. Tht 1994 Reenactraant rights' for "said rights' near the end of the

(P.L. 1994, ch. 134, S 1) insert«d a comma jectjon.

12-28-4.3. Pretrial conferences — Misdemeanors in district
court. — (a) In all misdemeanor cases heaxd before the district
court, the victim of the alleged criminal offense shall be afforded the
opportunity to address the court during the pretrial conference, un-
less the judge determines, ba^ed on the facts of the particular case,
that the presence of the victim would substantially interfere with
the court's abihty to administer justice. At the pretrial conference,
the victim shall be afforded the opportunity to explain the impact
which the defendant's criminal conduct has had upon the victim and
to comment on the proposed disposition of the case.

(b) For the purposes of this section, a "victim" is one who has
sustained personal injury or loss of property directly attributable to
the criminal conduct with which the defendant has been charged.

BQstory of S«ction. "laid pretrial" and "the ta3«" for "said cats"

P.L. 1986, ch. 405, § 2. in tha second ««ntencc of «ubsection (a), and

Raannctxneaia. The 1994 Reenactaant inoerted quotation marks surrounding "vie-

{P.L. 1994, ch. 134. } 1) added the suhsection tim" in •uhsection (h).

deaignatioas, subctituted 'the pretrial' for

12-28-5. Civil judgment against defendant. — (a) Upon his or
her final conviction of a felony after a trial by jury, a civil judgment
shall automatically be entered by the trial court against the defen-
dant conclusively establishing his or her liability to the victim for
such personal injury and/or loss of property as was sustained by the
victim as a direct unH proximate cause of the felonious conduct of
which the defendant has been convicted. The court shall notify the
victim at his or her li-st known address of the entry of the civil
judgment in his or her favor and inform him or her that he or she
must establish proof of damages in an appropriate judicial proceed-
ing in order to recover for his or her injury or loss. This section shall
not apply to crimes set forth in title 31 arising from the operation of
a motor vehicle.

(b) For the purposes of this section, a "victim" is one who has
sustained personal injury or loss of property directly attributable to
the felonious conduct of which the defendant has been convicted. In
homicide cases, judgment shall enter for the benefit of those parties
eligible to commence a wrongful death action pursuant to chapter 7
of title 10.



77



12-28-5.1 CRIMINAL PROCEDURE 678

HisLory of Section. (P^L. 1994, ch. 134, } 1) added the gub&eetion

P.L. 1983. ch. 265, } 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 444. d«signiitioa« and inserted quoUtion marks

} 2. • suTTDunding "victim" in subsection (b).

Beenactmanta. Tha 1994 Re«nact7aent

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Punitiva Daxnag*«. Town of N. Kingitown, Sup. Ct. Op. No.

An award of ponitiva iamiges does not fall 92-281-App«al fWC aS-MO), — A.2d — (RJ.
within the ambit of this aaction. Trainor v. 1993).

12-28-5.1. Restitution. — When the covirt orders a defendant to
make financial restitution to the victim of a crime of which the
defendant has been convicted or to which the defendant has pleaded
guilty or nolo contendere, a civil judgement shall automatically be
entered by the trial court against the defendant on behalf of the
victim for that amount. If payment is not made by the defendant
within the period set by the court, the civil judgement for the
amount of the restitution ordered, plus interest at the statutory
amount from the date of the offense, plus costs of suit, including
reasonable attorney's fees, shall be enforceable by any and all means
presently available in law for the collection of delinquent judgments
in civil cases generally.

History of Svction. tion. wkich correction was firat made by tb«

P.L. 1986, ch. 405, } 2. compiler in 1936, Lnsarttrd a comma following

Kwanactments. The 1994 Re«n»cta:«nt "suit" in the eecond «entfinc«, and laado s«v-

(P.L. 1994, ch. 134, i 1) corrected a nuisp^ll- sral substitutioos for "sajd" throu^out the

in? of "enforceable" near tha and of the sec- lection.

12-28-6. Right to address parole board. — (a) Prior to acting
upon the petition or any continuance thereof of am inmate at the
adult correctional institution or the women's reformatory, the parole
board shall notify the victim, if he or she is identified and his or her
residence is known, of the criminal conduct for which the inmate has
been incarcerated of the pendency of the proceedings before the
board. The victim shall upon request be afforded the opportunity to
address the board regarding the impact of the crime upon the victim.

(b) Should the parole board be unable to locate the victim, the
board shall seek the assiatanc*. of the local police department of the
city or town where the victim was last known to have resided. The
police department shall make every effort to locate the victim and
shall, no later than thirty (30) days from the date its assistance was
sought, send a written report to the parole board detailing its efforts
to locatfi said victim.

(c) Whenever the parole board shall seek the assistance of any
police department in locating a victim, the board shall not act upon
the inmate's petition until it has reviewed the written report from
the assisting police department.

(d) For the purposes of this section, a "victim" is one who has;
sustaiined personal Lojury or loss of property directly attributable to.
the criminal conduct for which the inmate has been Incarcerated. In



78



679 viCTD»rS RIGHT3 12-28-9

homicide cases, a member of the immediate family of the victim
shall be afforded the right created by thLs section.

History of Section. ' added Che sxibsection deaignationj, lubsti-

P.L. 1983, ch. 265. 5 1; P.L. 19S5, ch. 411, hited "if he or sha u" for "if any be' and 'is

§ 1; P.L. 1989, ch. 419, i 2. known" for "b« known" in subaection (a), b-

ReenactraeaLs. . The 1994 Reenactment serted quotation marks surrounding "victiai"

(P.L. 1994. ch. 134, § 1) deleted "Victim's" in subaectioa (d). and laade several subrtitu-

from the beginning of the section heading, tiona for "said" throughout the section.

12-28-7. Noncompliance not affecting validity of conviction,
sentence, or parole. — Failure to afford the victim of a felony
offense any of the rights established by this chapter shall not consti-
tute grounds for vacating an otherwise lawful conviction, or for void-
ing an otherwise lawful sentence or parole determination.

History of Section. (P.L. 1994, ch. 134. } 1) inserted * comma

P.L. 19&3, ch. 265, § 1. following "»«ntcnce" in th« taction heading.

Reeaactmentd. The 1994 lUanactniaat

12-28-8. Severability. — If any of the provisions of this chapter
or the application thereof to any person or circvimatances is held
invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applica-
tions of the chapter which can be given effect without the invalid
provision or application, and to this end the provisions of the chapter
are declared to be severable.

History of Section. (PL. 1994, ch. 134. i 1) substituted "rhat in-

P.L. 1983, ch. 265, i 1. validity^ for "»uch invalidity" near the mid-

{l«enactmeats. The 1994 R«enactiaeat die of th« taction.

12-28-9. Child victims. — The general assembly finds that it is
necessary to provide child victims and witnesses in family, district or
superior court with special consideration and treatment beyond that
usually afforded to adults. It is the intent of this section to provide
these children with additional rights and protection during their
involvement with the criniinal justice system. As used in this sec-
tion, a "child" is anyone who is less than fifteen (15) years of age.
Child victims of felony offenses, or offenses which would be consid-
ered lielony offenses if committed by adults, shall have the following
rights in addition to those set forth elsewhere in this chapter:

(1) To have explanations, in language understandable to a child of
the victim's age, of all investigative and judicial proceedings in
which, the child will be involved;

(2) To be accompanied at all investigative and judicial proceed-
ings by a relative, guardian, or other person who will contribute to
the child's sense of well being; unless it is determined by the party
conducting the proceeding that the presence of the particular person
would substantially impede the investigation or prosecution of the



Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on the JProposals for a constitutional amendment to provide rights for victims of crime : hearing before the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, second session, on H.J. Res. 173 and H.J. Res. 174 ... July 11, 1996 → online text (page 9 of 24)