Texas is one of thirty-two states that have amended their constitutions to include rights for crime victims.
The amendment was submitted and passed during the 1989 legislative session, and ratified by 73% of the voters in November of 1989.
The amendment reads as follows:
ARTICLE 1, SECTION 30
RIGHTS OF CRIME VICTIMS.
- A crime victim has the following rights:
- the right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim's dignity and privacy throughout the criminal justice process; and
- the right to be reasonably protected from the accused throughout the criminal justice process.
- On the request of a crime victim , the crime victim has the following rights:
- the right to notification of court proceedings;
- the right to be present at all public court proceedings related to the offense, unless the victim is to testify and the court determines that the victim's testimony would be materially affected if the victim hears other testimony at the trial;
- the right to confer with a representative of the prosecutor's office;
- the right to restitution; and
- the right to information about the conviction, sentence, imprisonment, and release of the accused.
- The legislature may enact laws to define the term "victim" and to enforce these and other rights of crime victims.
- The state, through its prosecuting attorney, has the right to enforce the rights of crime victims.
- The legislature may enact laws to provide that a judge, attorney for the state, peace officer, or law enforcement agency is not liable for a failure or inability to provide a right enumerated in this section. The failure or inability of any person to provide a right or service enumerated in this section may not be used by a defendant in a criminal case as a ground for appeal of post-conviction writ of habeas corpus. A victim or guardian or legal representative of a victim has standing to enforce the rights enumerated in this section but does not have standing to participate as a party in a criminal proceeding or to contest the disposition of any charge.