On Friday, March 10, 2017 S.J. Quinney College of Law Professor Paul Cassell testified before the Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee in support of amendments strengthening Idaho’s victims rights amendment. Read Cassell’s testimony is below:
TESTIMONY OF PROFESSOR PAUL G. CASSELL
OF THE S.J. QUINNEY COLLEGE OF LAW AT THE UNIVERSITY OF UTAH
IN SUPPORT OF S.J. RES. 103 – AMENDMENTS RELATED TO THE RIGHTS OF CRIME VICTIMS IN THE IDAHO CONSTITUTION
Dear Mr. Chairman and Distinguished Members of the Committee:
I am pleased to be back in Idaho to testify on the importance of strengthening constitutional protections for crime victims. I am currently the Ronald N. Boyce Presidential Professor of Criminal Law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, where I teach a course on crime victims’ rights and have co-authored a law school casebook on crime victims’ rights, Victims in Criminal Procedure (Carolina Academic Press 2010). But I have strong Idaho roots, having graduated from Caldwell High School in 1977. My parents (Bill and Jeanne Cassell) both live in Idaho and recently-deceased Ada County Judge W.E. Smith is my father-in-law. Because of my Idaho background, in February 1994 I testified before the both Senate and House Judiciary Committees of this Legislature in strong support of amending Idaho’s Constitution to add right for crime victims. The Legislature approved the Amendment and, later that year, Idaho’s citizens overwhelmingly approved that amendment. It has been part of Idaho’s fundamental charter ever since.
Back in 1994, Idaho’s constitutional amendment served as a model for the country. It contained one of the most comprehensive lists of victims’ rights that could be found anywhere. The constitutional amendment expansively protected crime victims’ rights, spanning the right “to be treated with fairness, respect, dignity and privacy” to rights in juvenile proceedings. And Idaho’s constitutional protections are buttressed by strong statutory protections.
Idaho’s amendment was not the only amendment protecting crime victims. Over the last several decades, the vast majority of states have adopted significant statutory and even constitutional protections for crime victims that are similar to Idaho’s. These enactments rest on the widely-shared premise that “[w]hile defendants have strong interests in fair trials, victims likewise have strong personal interests in being listened to and taken seriously.”
But in the more than 22 years since the initial adoption of Idaho’s constitutional amendment, knowledge about crime victims’ rights has progressed, both in Idaho and elsewhere. While the Idaho’s Victims’ Rights Amendment is still a good one, to keep Idaho on the forefront of protecting crime victims, the time has come to amend Idaho’s constitution to clarify the existing constitutional protections.
Improving Idaho’s Victims’ Rights Amendment does not imply any criticism of actors in Idaho’s criminal justice system. Idaho’s Victims’ Rights Amendment simply provides tools for Idaho’s law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges to make sure that crime victims’ interests are not overlooked in the handling of criminal investigations and prosecutions, including parole and post-conviction proceedings. Indeed, as the Committee will hear at its hearing today, S.J. Res. 103 enjoys strong support from law enforcement officers and prosecutors who know first-hand how the importance of ensuring that crime victims have meaningful constitutional rights in the criminal justice process.
The Victim’s Right to Reasonable Protection
In one important improvement, S.J. Res. 103 would extend to Idaho crime victims a right to “reasonable protection from the accused and those acting on behalf of the accused.” This right was not commonly found in state constitutional amendments back in 1994 when Idaho’s amendment was first adopted. But given the safety concerns of a crime victim in a criminal case, a number of states now extend such rights. For example, about fifteen states currently extend to victims the constitutional right to be reasonably protected from the accused – such as the California constitutional provision extending a right to victims to “be reasonably protected from the defendant and persons acting on behalf of the defendant” and to “have the safety of the victim and the victim’s family considered in fixing the amount of bail and release conditions for the defendant.” Virginia likewise extends to victims “[t]he right to protection from further harm or reprisal through the imposition of appropriate bail and conditions of release.” Sometimes such enactments are supplemented by giving victims the right to be free from harassment. Federal law, too, gives victims “[t]he right to be reasonably protected from the accused.”
These provisions require that a crime victim’s safety be considered by courts, parole boards, and other government actors in making discretionary decisions that could harm a crime victim. For example, in considering whether to release a suspect on bail, a court following such a provision is required to consider the victim’s safety.
It is important to emphasize that nothing in Idaho’s proposed right to reasonable protection would give the victim any sort of veto over the release of a defendant. To the contrary, the provisions merely establish a requirement that due consideration be given to such concerns in the process of determining release.
The Victim’s Right Confer
S.J. Res 103 would also modify existing language in the Idaho Constitution, which merely gives crime victims the right to “communicate” with the prosecution, to a more meaningful right to “confer” with the prosecution. It is not immediately clear what the right to “communicate” means, as it might be narrowly construed to give victims merely the right to send a letter or an email to prosecutor. While a right to communicate was something of an innovation when added to the Idaho Constitution in 1994, the right to “confer” is more consistent with the current understanding of crime victims’ rights in 2017. For example, a victims’ right to “confer” with the prosecution is current found in the federal Crime Victims Rights Act as well as various state enactments.
A good illustration of the importance of this right to “confer” is found in a decision handed down just four days ago, on March 6, 2017, by the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut in a case known as United States v. Stevens. In that case, the prosecution did not consult the victim’s mother or family about the terms of an anticipated plea agreement in a case involving the prosecution of a young man who distributed heroin that was lethally laced with fentanyl. The victim overdosed and died. The Government later entered into a plea agreement with terms that were highly favorable to the defendant without first consulting about the agreement with the victim’s surviving family. The judge rejected the plea agreement on the ground that the prosecution had not respected the family’s rights to “confer” with the prosecution. As the Court explained the meaning of a right to “confer”:
Just what does this right to “confer” mean? Surely it must mean more than that a prosecutor need only answer phone calls or emails if a traumatized victim has the verve to initiate a conversation with the prosecutor about the case. Instead, the right to confer with the prosecutor should be read in light of one of the CVRA’s primary purposes: to give victims a meaningful voice in the prosecution process. In my view, the CVRA’s right to confer with the prosecutor requires at the least that a prosecutor take reasonable steps to consult with a victim before making a prosecution decision that a prosecutor should reasonably know will compromise the wishes and interests of the victim.
S.J. Res. 103 would add this important protection as a constitutional right for Idaho crime victims.
A Right to Full and Timely Restitution for Economic Losses.
S.J. Res 103 also extends to crime victims the right to “full and timely restitution for “economic losses.” This provision tracks that found in other state constitutions. North Carolina extends to a crime victim “[t]he right as prescribed by law to receive restitution.” The California Constitution contains perhaps the most elaborate provisions, as it provides crime victims a right to restitution and broadly provides:
(A) It is the unequivocal intention of the People of the State of California that all persons who suffer losses as a result of criminal activity shall have the right to seek and secure restitution from the persons convicted of the crimes causing the losses they suffer.
(B) Restitution shall be ordered from the convicted wrongdoer in every case, regardless of the sentence or disposition imposed, in which a crime victim suffers a loss.
(C) All monetary payments, monies, and property collected from any person who has been ordered to make restitution shall be first applied to pay the amounts ordered as restitution to the victim.
Congress has also enacted broad restitution provisions in the federal system. In the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act, Congress required federal courts to enter a restitution order in favor of victims for crimes of violence. The law provides that “[n]otwithstanding any other provision of law, when sentencing a defendant convicted of [a crime of violence as defined elsewhere] . . . the court shall order . . . that the defendant make restitution to the victim of the offense.” In justifying this approach, the Judiciary Committee explained that “the principle of restitution is an integral part of virtually every formal system of criminal justice, of every culture and every time.” While restitution is critically important, the Committee also found that restitution orders were only sometimes entered and, in general, “much progress remains to be made in the area of victim restitution.” Accordingly, restitution was made mandatory for crimes of violence in federal cases.
Under restitution provisions such as these, courts are often required to enter an order of restitution against the convicted offender. However, not infrequently offenders lack the means to make full restitution payments. Accordingly, the courts can establish an appropriate repayment schedule and enforce it during the period of time in which the offender is under the court’s jurisdiction.
In further determining the contours of the victims’ restitution right, there are well-established bodies of law that can be examined. S.J. Res. 103 carefully limits the right to “economic losses” – which include such things as lost income, lost property, funeral expenses (in homicide cases), and the costs of psychological counseling for sexual assault victims. These losses are essentially the same as those provided in, for example, the current federal restitution statute, which includes among the compensable losses medical and psychiatric services, physical and occupational therapy and rehabilitation, lost income, the costs of attending the trial, and in the case of homicide, funeral expenses.
The Victim’s Right to Notice of Escape
Another example of how S.J. Res. 103 would update and improve constitutional protections for Idaho’s crime victims’ is the provision concerning notice of court hearings. S.J. Res. 103 would add to Idaho’s existing constitutional protections a right for a crime victim to “receive reasonable and timely notification of escape or absconsion from probation or parole.” An unconvicted defendant may threaten, or indeed carry out, violence to permanently silence the victim and prevent subsequent testimony. Or a convicted offender may later attack the victim in a quest for revenge. These dangers are particularly pronounced for victims of domestic violence and rape, as documented cases of crime victims being murdered by those who have victimize them sadly attest. This provision properly recognizes that defendants and convicted offenders who escape pose special dangers to their victims. The amendment would provide notice to notice to victims of the release or escape of defendants, so that victims would at least be aware of the risk an offender might poses.
“Standing” for Victims
Another example of a useful updating from S.J. Res. 103 can be found in a new provision explicitly providing “standing” for crime victims to protect their own rights. S.J. Res. 103 would add to the Idaho Victims’ Rights Amendment a provision stating:
In the criminal justice proceedings, the crime victim, the crime victim’s attorney, or other lawful representative, or the attorney for the government upon request of the crime victim, may assert and seek enforcement of the rights enumerated in this section and any other right afforded to the crime victim by law, which shall be acted upon promptly.
This provision would eliminate any dispute, as have occurred under some victims’ enactments of the same vintage as Idaho’s, over whether victims can appear before a court to press their rights. This provision also empowers Idaho’s prosecutors, at the request of victims, to present victims’ rights issues to the court for resolution. In a very real way, this provision gives Idaho prosecutors tools for ensuring that justice is done. At the same time, however, the provision is carefully limited so allow victims to assert their rights, not disrupt a trial or usurp the role of prosecutors.
Defining the “Victim” of a Crime
In another useful clarification, S.J. Res. 103 elevates the definition of “crime victim” from a mere statutory provision to a constitutional provision. Under the current constitutional provision, “crime victims” are protected – but only so long as the Legislature has adopted a statute defining and protecting them. As a matter of public policy, it is far better for a core constitutional right to be “self-executing” by containing its own definition of a “victim.” S.J. Res 103 follows this approach by defining who is a “victim” under the Constitution:
As used in this section, a “crime victim” shall include any person or entity directly and proximately harmed by the commission of a felony, or a misdemeanor involving physical injury, threatened physical injury or a sexual offense, or a person or entity against whom such an offense is committed and may be further expanded in law.
This definition of “crime victim” is a standard definition, as it currently appears (for example) as the definition of a crime victim in the federal Crime Victims’ Rights Act, which defines “victim” as a person “directly and proximately harmed” by a federal crime. The definition has two conventional legal components. First, a victim must be “directly” harmed – i.e., the harm the victim suffered must have been a “but for” result of the crime at issue in the case. And second, the harm must be one that is “proximately caused” by the crime at issue, which means that the harm is a reasonably connected consequence of the crime. Because this definition has been used in other enactments, Idaho’s courts will be able to draw on an existing body of law to avoid disputes about who qualifies for protection under the Amendment.
Rights Extended Throughout the Criminal Justice Process
In another important expansion, S.J. Res. 103 makes clear that crime victims possess rights not only during the initial trial-and-sentencing phase of the process, but through all later stages. S.J. Res. 103 does this by defining a “criminal justice proceeding” in which victims have rights as meaning any “trial court, appellate and post-conviction proceedings, including acceptance of a plea of guilty, sentencing, parole proceedings, parole discharge, change in probation status, commutation, pardon, post-arrest and post-conviction release, and any proceeding during which a right of the crime victim is implicated . . . .” This is an important addition, because victims’ interests in the criminal justice process do not end when a defendant is sentenced by the trial judge, but continue through the time he remains in custody or is under any form of supervision. This provision also avoids interfering with any legitimate judicial need for secrecy, by making clear that victims’ rights protections “shall not include ex parte proceedings.”
The Historical Context of Idaho’s Amendments
S.J. Res. 103 is not only good public policy, for the reasons just explained, but it also fits within a larger context of protecting crime victims that the Legislature should consider. When the United States was founded, crime victims played an important role in criminal prosecutions, often bringing their own “private” prosecutions. Over time through the nineteenth century, however, a system of public prosecution steadily displaced victims. Ultimately, well into the twentieth century, the system had moved to the point where it seemed fair to describe the victim as “the forgotten man” of the system.
The Crime Victims’ Rights Movement developed in the 1970s because of this perceived imbalance. The victim’s absence from criminal processes conflicted with “a public sense of justice keen enough that it . . . found voice in a nationwide ‘victims’ rights’ movement.” Victims’ advocates argued that the criminal justice system had become preoccupied with defendants’ rights to the exclusion of considering the legitimate interests of crime victims. These advocates urged reforms to give more attention to victims’ concerns, including protecting victims’ rights to be notified of court hearings, to attend those hearings, and to be heard at appropriate points in the process.
The victims’ rights movement received considerable impetus in 1982 when the President’s Reagan’s Task Force on Victims of Crime reviewed the treatment of victims and published a report. The Task Force concluded that the criminal justice system “has lost an essential balance . . . . [T]he system has deprived the innocent, the honest, and the helpless of its protection. . . . The victims of crime have been transformed into a group oppressively burdened by a system designed to protect them. This oppression must be redressed.” The Task Force advocated multiple reforms, such as prosecutors assuming the responsibility for keeping victims notified of all court proceedings and bringing to the court’s attention the victim’s view on such subjects as bail, plea bargains, sentences, and restitution. The Task Force also urged that courts should receive victim impact evidence at sentencing, order restitution in most cases, and allow victims and their families to attend trials even if they would be called as witnesses. In its most sweeping recommendation, the Task Force proposed a federal constitutional amendment to protect crime victims’ rights “to be present and to be heard at all critical stages of judicial proceedings.”
In the wake of the recommendation for a federal constitutional amendment, crime victims’ advocates considered how best to pursue that goal. Realizing the difficulty of achieving the consensus required to amend the United States Constitution, advocates decided to try and first enact state victims’ amendments. They have had considerable success with this “states-first” strategy. To date, thirty-five states have adopted victims’ rights amendments to their own state constitutions protecting a wide range of victims’ rights – including, of course, Idaho’s amendment in 1994.
The state constitutional amendments were passed in two waves. Beginning with Rhode Island’s enactment of a statement amendment in 1986 and Michigan’s in 1988, more than 30 states passed the state constitutional amendments in what might be regarded as the first wave of protection of crime victims’ rights. Idaho’s amendment in 1994 is a prime example, because it was one of the strongest amendments passed in the first wave. In many states, however, the amendments (and their implementing statutes) lacked sufficient enforcement mechanisms to ensure that their rights were fully implemented. As Attorney General Janet Reno explained in 1997 after a Justice Department review of the landscape, in 1997, these state efforts “failed to fully safeguard victims’ rights.”
One way of improving enforcement of state crime victims’ rights enactments is through strengthened state constitutional protections. In 2008, a second wave of state constitutional efforts began. In California, Dr. Henry T. Nicholas (the co-founder of Broadcom Corp.) backed the enactment of “Marsy’s Law,” named after his murdered sister Marsalee (Marsy) Nicholas. She was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983 – and the family suffered mistreatment during the ensuing criminal proceedings. Determined to prevent mistreatment of other victims in the process, Dr. Nicholas supported a comprehensive re-write of California’s state constitutional amendment protecting crime victims. In November 2008, California voters overwhelming approved Proposition 9, making California’s amendment arguably the strongest and most comprehensive in the country. Since then, similar Marsy’s Law amendments have been added to the state constitutions of Illinois in 2014 and Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota, and Montana in 2016. Efforts are currently underway to add enhanced state constitutional protections for victims in other states.
Idaho’s Unique – and Important – Path Forward
Against this backdrop of efforts to protect crime victims’ rights, the urgency for passing S.J. Res. 103 becomes even more important. Idaho should remain in the forefront of efforts to protect crime victims’ rights. S.R. Res. 103 helps to achieve this important goal. It does that by taking Idaho’s current constitutional amendment and amending it – amendments, it is important to add, that largely retain Idaho’s existing constitutional language and revising it in light on contemporary understanding of the best way to protect crime victims. Idaho’s constitutional amendment has long served as a beacon of hope, not only for crime victims in Idaho but for victims across the country looking for an articulation of crime victims’ rights that explained their importance in the criminal justice process. The Legislature should quickly approve S.J. Res. 103 and send it to Idaho’s voters for ratification – victims deserve comprehensive rights in Idaho’s criminal justice process.
 I also have served as a law clerk to then-Judge Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Chief Justice Warren Burger of the U.S. Supreme Court, an Associate Deputy Attorney General in U.S. Department of Justice during the Reagan Administration, and as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia. From 2002 to 2007, I served as a U.S. District Court for the District of Utah.
 Idaho Const., art. I, § 22(1) & (10).
 See, e.g., Idaho Code. § 19-5306.
 Stephanos Bibas, The Machinery of Criminal Justice 91 (2012).
 In the interests of full disclosure, I have recently served as pro bono counsel of record for Ada County in recent U.S. Supreme Court civil right litigation alleging that Ada County had not adequately protected one of its prisoners against suicide. When the Stanford Supreme Court Clinic filed a cert petition in the U.S. Supreme Court asking for review of the Idaho Supreme Court’s ruling in Hoagland v. Ada County, Idaho, on behalf of the Utah Appellate Clinic, I filed a response urging that review be denied. See Br. for Ada County, Idaho, in Hoagland v. Ada County, No. 13-514 (U.S. Supreme Court Dec. 24, 2013). The Supreme Court agreed and denied review.
 S.J.Res. 103, page 1, lines 36-37.
 Cal. Const. art. I, § 28(b)(2)-(3).
 Va. Const., art. I, § 8-A.
 See, e.g., Cal. Const. art. I, § 28(b)(1) (victims have a right to “be treated with fairness and respect for his or her privacy and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse, throughout the criminal or juvenile justice process”); Tenn. Const. art. I, § 35 (victims shall be entitled to the “right to be free from intimidation, harassment and abuse throughout the criminal justice system); Ill. Const. art. 1, § 8.1 (crime victims have the right to “right to be treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy and to be free from harassment, intimidation, and abuse throughout the criminal justice process”).
 18 U.S.C. § 3771(a)(1) (2006).
 In the case of a mandatory release of an offender (e.g., releasing a defendant who has served the statutory maximum term of imprisonment), there is no such discretionary consideration to be made of a victim’s safety.
 See generally Douglas Beloof, Paul G. Cassell & Stephen Twist, Victims in Criminal Procedure 421-44 (3d ed. Carolina Academic Press 2010).
 18 U.S.C. § 3771(a).
 United States v. Stevens, — F.Supp.3d—, 2017 WL 888302 (D. Conn. Mar. 6, 2017).
 Id, at *1.
 Id. at *3.
 N.C. Const., art. I, § 37(1)(c).
 Cal. Const., art. I, § 28(b)(13).
 18 U.S.C. §§ 3663A, 3664.
 § 3663A(a)(1) (emphasis added).
 S. Rep. No. 104-179, at 12-13 (1995) (quoting S. Rep. No. 97-532, at 30 (1982)). This report was later adopted as the legislative history of the MVRA. See H.R. Conf. Rep. No. 104-518, at 111-12 (1996).
 S. Rep. 104-179, at 13.
 Cf. 18 U.S.C. § 3664 (establishing restitution procedures).
 See generally Alan T. Harland, Monetary Remedies for the Victims of Crime: Assessing the Role of Criminal Courts, 30 UCLA L. Rev. 52 (1982). Cf. Restatement (First) of Restitution (2011) (setting forth established restitution principles in civil cases).
 See § 3663A.
 S.J. Res. 103, page 1, lines 19-21.
 Jeffrey A. Cross, Note, The Repeated Sufferings of Domestic Violence Victims Not Notified of Their Assailant’s Pre-Trial Release from Custody: A Call for Mandatory Domestic Violence Victim Notification Legislation, 34 U. Louisville J. Fam. L. 915, 915-16 (1996).
 S.J. Res. 103, page 2, lines 8-13.
 S.J. Res. 103, page 2, lines 14-19
 18 U.S.C. § 3771(e) (2006); see also Paul G. Cassell, Recognizing Victims in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure: Proposed Amendments in Light of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, 2005 BYU L. Rev. 835, 857 (discussing CVRA’s definition of “victim”).
 See, e.g., United States v. Donaby, 349 F.3d 1046, 1053 (7th Cir. 2003) (awarding restitution to police department which suffered losses during flight from bank robbery because, while fleeing the bank is not an element of bank robbery, the damage to [the police department] was a direct and proximate consequence of the specific conduct involved in robbing the bank.”)..
 See, e.g., United States v. Degenhardt, 405 F.Supp.2d at 1344 (D. Utah) (noting that this definition of victims is “intentionally broad”).
 S.J. Res. 13, page 2, lines 1-6.
 Id. at line 7.
 William F. McDonald, Towards a Bicentennial Revolution in Criminal Justice: The Return of the Victim, 13 Am. Crim. L Rev. 649 (1976).
 Bibas, supra, at 88; Abraham Goldstein, Defining the Role of the Victim in Criminal Prosecution, 52 Miss. L.J. 1 (1982).
 McDonald, supra note 35, at 650.
 Payne v. Tennessee, 501 U.S. 808, 834 (1991) (Scalia, J., concurring) (internal quotations omitted). See generally Douglas Beloof, Paul G. Cassell & Steven J. Twist, Victims in Criminal Procedure 3-35 (3d ed. Carolina Academic Press 2010); Douglas Evan Beloof, The Third Model of Criminal Process: The Victim Participation Model, 1999 Utah L. Rev. 289; Paul G. Cassell, Balancing the Scales of Justice: The Case for and Effects of Utah’s Victims’ Rights Amendment, 1994 Utah L. Rev. 1373 [hereinafter Cassell, Balancing the Scales]; Abraham S. Goldstein, Defining the Role of the Victim in Criminal Prosecution, 52 Miss. L.J. 514 (1982); William T. Pizzi & Walter Perron, Crime Victims in German Courtrooms: A Comparative Perspective on American Problems, 32 Stan. J. Int’l L. 37 (1996); Collene Campbell et al., Appendix: The Victims’ Voice, 5 Phoenix L. Rev. 379 (2012).
 See generally Beloof, Cassell & Twist, supra note 38, at 29-38; Douglas E. Beloof, The Third Wave of Victims’ Rights: Standing, Remedy, and Review, 2005 BYU L. Rev. 255; Cassell, Balancing the Scales of Justice, supra note 38, at 1380-82.
 See Shirley S. Abrahamson, Redefining Roles: The Victims’ Rights Movement, 1985 Utah L. Rev. 517.
 President’s Task Force on Victims of Crime, Final Report (1982), available at
 Id. at 114.
 Id. at 63.
 Id. at 72-73.
 Id. at 114 (emphasis omitted).
 See S. Rep. No. 108-191 (2003).
 Rhode Island Const., art. I, § 23.
 ; Mich. Const. of 1963, art. I, § 24
 A Proposed Constitutional Amendment to Protect Victims of Crime: Hearing on S.J. Res. 6 Before the S. Comm. on the Judiciary, 105th Cong. 64 (1997) (statement of Janet Reno, U.S. Att’y Gen.).
 Cal. Const. art. I, § 28.
 Ill. Const. art. I, § 8.1.
 Respectively, Mont. Const. art. II, § 36; N.D. Const. art. I, § 25; S.D. Const. art VI, § 29.