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Legislative action that proposed this amendment: SJR6 1994 General Session

Disposition: This amendment took effect following voter ratification. You may read the resulting 1995 Utah Constitution here.

Amends article 1 section 12

Enacts article 1 section 28


In criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right to appear and defend in person and by counsel, to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a copy thereof, to testify in his own behalf, to be confronted by the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process to compel the attendance of witnesses in his own behalf, to have a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the offense is alleged to have been committed, and the right to appeal in all cases. In no instance shall any accused person, before final judgment, be compelled to advance money or fees to secure the rights herein guaranteed. The accused shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself; a wife shall not be compelled to testify against her husband, nor a husband against his wife, nor shall any person be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense.

Where the defendant is otherwise entitled to a preliminary examination, the function of that examination is limited to determining whether probable cause exists unless otherwise provided by statute. Nothing in this constitution shall preclude the use of reliable hearsay evidence as defined by statute or rule in whole or in part at any preliminary examination to determine probable cause or at any pretrial proceeding with respect to release of the defendant if appropriate discovery is allowed as defined by statute or rule.


(1) To preserve and protect victims' rights to justice and due process, victims of crimes have these rights, as defined by law:

(a) To be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity, and to be free from harassment and abuse throughout the criminal justice process.

(b) 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

(c) 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.

(2) 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.

(3) 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.

(4) The Legislature shall have the power to enforce and define this section by statute.