Utah is one of thirty-two states that have amended their constitutions to include rights for crime victims.
Utah passed its constitutional amendment in both the house and senate in March 1994. The amendment was ratified by the voters in November with 68% in favor of the amendment.
The amendment reads as follows:
ARTICLE I, SECTION 28
DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF CRIME VICTIMS.
- To preserve and protect victims' rights to justice and due process, victims of crimes have these rights, as defined by law:
- To be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity, and to be free from harassment and abuse throughout the criminal justice process;
- Upon request, to be informed of, be present at, and to be heard at important criminal justice hearings related to the victim, either in person or through a lawful representative, once a criminal information or indictment charging a crime has been publicly filed in court; and
- To have a sentencing judge, for the purpose of imposing an appropriate sentence, receive and consider, without evidentiary limitation, reliable information concerning the background, character and conduct of a person convicted of an offense except that this subsection does not apply to capital cases or situations involving privileges.
- Nothing in this section shall be construed as creating a cause of action for money damages, costs, or attorney's fees, or for dismissing any criminal charge, or relief from any criminal judgment.
- The provisions of this section shall extend to all felony crimes and such other crimes or acts, including juvenile offenses, as the Legislature may provide.
- The Legislature shall have the power to enforce and define this section by statute.