Changing the Course of a Nation

Constitutional Amendment #2


(HJR 16 from 2013)

This Amendment pertains to sexual predators.  Everyone despises sexual predators. When children are the victims, it is even more despicable.

On first glance, we all should have strong feelings about how horrible it is for anyone to hurt anybody, especially a child.  This might pass because people think we can do something more than what we are already doing.  However, we already have laws to punish sexual predators.

We are supposed to be considered innocent until proven guilty.  Our justice system is designed so that it protects both the innocent and the victims alike and punishes the guilty.  That is justice.

Passage of this amendment is a distortion of how we achieve justice in our court system.  It would allow “prior criminal acts, whether charged or uncharged”, to be used in a prosecution.

Fact #1: if a person is never charged, there is no prior criminal act. So what “relevant evidence” could there possibly be of an “uncharged” act.

Fact #2: “The court may exclude relevant evidence of prior criminal acts, etc.” So, if the evidence relates to an “uncharged act”, the court may not exclude it. Remember an uncharged act is not a criminal act. An uncharged act is one which legally does not exist.

Fact #3:  Words have meaning. Words are important. The way the wording was written, it says that “the court can exclude evidence of prior criminal acts…”, but the language doesn’t allow for the court to exclude evidence of “an uncharged act”.  The end result is that a criminal charge can be excluded if it prejudices a jury, but if it were for an uncharged crime, it cannot be excluded.

Here is the actual language that will be changed if this passes:

Section 18(c). Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 and 18(a) of this article to the contrary, in prosecutions for crimes of a sexual nature involving a victim under eighteen years of age, relevant evidence of prior criminal acts, whether charged or uncharged, is admissible for the purpose of corroborating the victim’s testimony or demonstrating the defendant’s propensity to commit the crime with which he or she is presently charged. The court may exclude relevant evidence of prior criminal acts if the probative value of the evidence is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.[4]

The Constitution Party recommends voting “NO” on Amendment #2

For a more in-depth examination, please click here: