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Oregon chief to try again on victims’ rights measure

SHARE Oregon chief to try again on victims’ rights measure

Gov. John Kitzhaber and victims' rights advocates pledged to try again after the Oregon Supreme Court toppled an initiative that allowed for murder convictions by less-than-unanimous juries.

The victims' rights measure, which was approved in 1996, lumped together several distinct constitutional amendments that should have been voted on separately, the court ruled Thursday.In addition to the jury change, Measure 40 made it more difficult to exclude improperly seized evidence at a trial. It also gave victims the right to be present and heard throughout the legal process and to refuse to participate in defense investigations.

Disappointed supporters of the initiative said they'll try again.

"We're sick about it," said Dee Dee Kouns. "One more time our state Supreme Court has made new law by interpretation."

Kitzhaber also suggested that a new effort could be made, this time by crafting a ballot measure in the 1999 Legislature.