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Initiative to ensure crime victims' rights are protected set for - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

MT crime victim's rights protection initiative makes the ballot

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CI-116 aims to ensure crime victims' rights and interests are respected and protected by law.  (MTN News photo) CI-116 aims to ensure crime victims' rights and interests are respected and protected by law. (MTN News photo)
BILLINGS -

Friday marked the deadline to submit signatures to ensure initiative's land on the November ballot across Montana.

But the Secretary of State's Office has plenty of work ahead before we know which ones will be officially cleared for election day.

According to the state's website, of the 24 ballot issues sent to the state, some of which have been withdrawn -- and only one currently has enough signatures.

CI-116 aims to ensure crime victim's rights and interests are respected and protected by law. It's a constitutional initiative which required 48,000-plus signatures, and qualified for the general election ballot back in early May.

CI-116 would add a new section to the Montana Constitution establishing specific rights for crime victims including notification of major developments in a criminal case, notification of changes to offender's custodial status, as well as being present at court proceedings and provide input to prosecutor before a plea agreement is finalized.


Initiative language: 

CI-116 would add a new section to the Montana Constitution establishing specific rights for crime victims. The rights enumerated include the right to participate in criminal and juvenile justice proceedings, to be notified of major developments in the criminal case, to be notified of changes to the offender's custodial status, to be present at court proceedings and provide input to the prosecutor before a plea agreement is finalized, and to be heard at plea or sentencing proceedings, or any process that may result in the offender's release. CI-116 guarantees crime victim's rights to restitution, privacy, to confer with the prosecuting attorney, and to be informed of their rights. CI-116 defines specific terms and requires no further action by the Legislature for implementation. CI- 116, if passed by the electorate, will become effective immediately. Fiscal impacts are expected for the Office of the Public Defender, Judicial Branch, Department of Corrections and local governments from passage of CI-116, but those costs could not be accurately determined at this time.

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