To Crime Victims
Ensuring constitutional protections for victims of crime.
Marsy’s Law Campaign Updates
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We need to finish what we started 20 years ago. Marsy’s Law for Illinois would provide knowledge and security to thousands of victims. I fully support an amendment to our constitution that would give power back to victims.
I applaud our legislators in the House and strongly urge that our State Senators follow suit and pass this resolution, allowing the people of Illinois to vote on this issue in November. It is time to bring justice and equality to victims in our justice system.
Most people do not know that when someone is victimized, the person accused of hurting them automatically has stronger legal rights. It is important that we have this conversation so that everyone understands the benefits Marsy’s Law will have for victims and their families, who are thrust into the criminal justice system.
I believe this is an important opportunity to hear from the people of North Dakota as to how highly they value victims’ rights,” Rep. Mooney said. “As a citizen, this is meaningful to me because I know people who would have benefitted from having stronger rights. As a legislator, I value the vote of the people and the message it sends is heard loud and clear in Bismarck. It helps shape the policy we work to pass and fund each session.
Law enforcement officials are often the first ones to interact with victims of crime and we see how difficult it is for people to be unexpectedly thrust into the judicial system. This effort will help crime victims be made aware of their rights, how to pursue them and it makes those rights fully enforceable. While we are proud North Dakota is still one of the safest states in the nation, when crimes do take place, the rights of victims need to be valued equally to those of accused criminals.
No one ever plans to become a victim of crime, certainly not an 8- or a 4-year-old. But when someone finds themselves in that position, like us, they quickly realize their limited and sometimes non-existent rights. We as family members – the ones truly affected by the murder – were outside the entire process. There was no handbook to navigate the system – we were on our own. Don’t let anyone fool you, our system has holes, but it can be made better with stronger victims’ rights. I urge everyone to thoughtfully consider Marsy’s Law for North Dakota.
My brother was murdered at a wedding dance in New Rockford last year. Throughout the court process, we have felt like outsiders, because we were clueless as to what was going on. Calls have not been returned and we’ve been made to feel like we’re burdening people by even asking for information – as if we have no stake in the situation, whatsoever.
We as Sheriffs of North Dakota work to protect and to serve, and that means for victims, too. That’s why it was important for us to choose to endorse Marsy’s Law for North Dakota.
Victims from any jurisdiction, whether it be the small rural towns with a few hundred people scattered throughout Nevada, or Las Vegas’ population of over two million residents, deserve to be protected and heard throughout the prosecution of the person who victimized them.
Victims have the right ‘be treated with fairness and respect,’ begins Senate Joint Resolution 17, a measure it was my honor to join in sponsoring. We owe them no less.
As a former prosecutor, I’ve seen the suffering that crime victims and their families endure firsthand. I support Marsy’s Law because it is only fair that we provide the same guaranteed rights to crime victims that we provide to those accused of doing them harm.
These men and women have already suffered at the hands of criminals; they shouldn’t have to suffer further at the hands of a partial judicial system and unfair public perception.
It is our hope that enacting legislation, such as Marsy’s Law for Kentucky, to elevate the rights of victims will encourage victims to come forward, and ultimately, break down some of the social stigmas associated with sexual assault.
Being victimized by a crime leaves you feeling powerless and vulnerable. Those feelings are just reinforced when the criminal justice system leaves the victim out of the process. Marsy’s Law will give clear rights to victims that will empower them and help put them on equal footing.
Victim’s Rights… cannot truly take effect without providing a way to enforce those rights… (Marsy’s Law) was drafted to make victim’s rights enforceable and to address a number of concerns expressed by those who play key roles in all aspects of the criminal justice system. (Marsy’s Law) enjoys widespread support including the support of the Illinois Sheriff’s Association, Children Advocacy Centers of Illinois, and the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children.