Stronger Laws Needed To Protect Florida Crime Victims – Florida State Senator Lauren Book
As a survivor of child sexual abuse, I know how important it is for victims to be treated with dignity and respect. Too often, victims and their families are lost in the shuffle of the criminal justice system. Left without important information about their case or the ability to speak out about the offender’s sentence, victims feel the powerlessness they felt when they were first victimized all over again.
That’s why I support Marsy’s Law for All in Florida because it will ensure there are stronger laws that better protect victims and their families.
Floridians who are victimized should have the right to be present at any court proceedings related to their case. They should have the right to be heard at plea or sentencing proceedings or any process that may result in the offender’s release. And, they certainly should have the right to know if the person who victimized them is being released from prison.
These are just a few of the basic rights Marsy’s Law would provide to victims and their families.
I believe a society can be measured by how it treats its most vulnerable – and right now, we simply do not measure up. Currently, criminals have 20 distinct rights afforded to them through the U.S. Constitution. Victims and surviving family members have none. This disparity should not be ignored and individual states can address this inequity by putting stronger victims’ rights laws into their constitutions.
Victims deserve a voice. When crime has silenced a victim and ended a life, victims’ families deserve a voice. It is for all of these individuals that I lend my voice in support of Marsy’s Law for All in Florida.
Florida State Senator Lauren Book is the Founder and CEO of Lauren’s Kids, a non-profit foundation dedicated to sexual abuse prevention.