Continuing A Strong Start for Victims’ Rights in North Carolina
For North Carolina, 2017 marked a pivotal year to support North Carolina victims. The Marsy’s Law campaign kicked off in North Carolina in April – joining other states to bring stronger victims’ rights laws guaranteeing victims the same rights already given to the accused and convicted. These rights include common sense things like notification of custody of the accused as well as the right for victims to be heard during a court proceeding or bond hearing.
As the Marsy’s Law team blanketed the state throughout the year – visiting all 100 counties at county fairs and during Christmas parades – educating citizens and elected officials about the need to build on past victims rights efforts – communities and individuals started speaking out in favor of this important cause. More than a dozen communities so far have passed resolutions in favor of Marsy’s Law, the state House of Representatives passed the bill in an overwhelming bipartisan vote in April and to-date more than 60 of the state’s sheriffs have given their support to strengthening rights for victims in the state Constitution.
In 2018, North Carolina may have the opportunity to make Marsy’s Law part of state law, joining six other states, including most recently in Ohio where a similar law passed by more than 80 percent of the vote. And there’s no better time to help citizens during their most vulnerable time. Recent data shows that urban areas of North Carolina have seen a spike in violent crime in recent years – double-digit increases in Charlotte alone. As the list of victims in North Carolina rises every day, they deserve to be treated with fairness and equality in the eyes of state law. Marsy’s Law is the opportunity to do that.