An Optimistic Look at 2018
At the beginning of 2017, the Marsy’s Law for NC campaign released its first blog post raising awareness about the need for greater respect and recognition for North Carolina’s victims of crime. North Carolina, like just over a dozen other states, does not formally recognize victims’ rights in the state constitution leaving victims of crime vulnerable to local government budgets or lack of staffing to determine whether they are able to be heard in the judicial process, considered during pleas or even notified about custody status of the accused.
Since last year’s post, there has been great progress raising awareness on behalf of victims’ rights in North Carolina – Marsy’s Law legislation passed in an overwhelming bipartisan vote in the state House in April; more than 60 percent of the state’s sheriffs have individually supported the legislation and over a dozen local communities have voted on proclamations in support of Marsy’s Law to designate equal rights for victims in the state’s constitution. The campaign team has traveled every corner of the state – all 100 counties – at county and community fairs and Christmas parades sharing why it’s important to give North Carolina victims of crime equal rights in the state constitution.
This year, 2018 promises to build on the momentum created on behalf of victims in 2017. The General Assembly has the opportunity to fully vote on the law, which will then send it statewide for consideration by North Carolina’s voters.
As the first blog stated last year:
“Each new year brings a new world of hope and opportunity. But for victims of crimes and their families, sadly, this is not always the case. Physical injuries, fear, heartache and countless other burdens often follow victims and their families for years after the actual event – stripping their ability to share the same hope and optimism that others enjoy in the new year.”
It’s important to remember that the only thing that separates a victim of crime from a non-victim is often chance. Marsy’s Law is an opportunity to ensure that victims are treated at least with the dignity and respect they deserve. And for North Carolina victims of crime, 2018 brings a renewed chance to give hope and optimism in the year ahead.