Why I Support Marsy’s Law for Florida – Sheriff Chris Nocco
As the Sheriff of Pasco County, Florida, my duty, along with all our deputies, is to protect and defend our citizens and the Constitution. These duties include ensuring even the most defenseless feel they have a voice in the criminal justice process. That is why I, along with my fellow sheriffs across Florida, proudly support Marsy’s Law for Florida.
If an individual were to read Florida’s Constitution today, they would see that, unfortunately, defendants have more rights than victims and their families. The crime victim rights included in Marsy’s Law for Florida are common sense and would give crime victims an equal level of constitutional protections as those who have been accused or convicted; nothing more, nothing less.
Florida’s Constitution lacks important rights for victims and their families, and those provided in state statute are weak and unenforceable. Accused have rights, as they should, under the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. However, victims – the individuals most affected by the crime – are equally deserving of constitutional protection.
As law enforcement officers across this state can attest, far too many crime victims continue to be victimized throughout the confusing and complicated criminal justice process – a process that is supposed to protect them. Victims and their families are often left unheard and ignored because the constitutional laws for criminals carry more weight than the statutory laws for victims.
As a Commissioner on the Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC), I will be advocating to provide victims and their families with a much-needed voice by proposing Marsy’s Law for Florida as a constitutional amendment.
This issue is bipartisan – Americans are unified in a belief that a criminal should not be afforded more protection than the victim or their family.
I’m proud to support Florida’s most vulnerable citizens and help make Marsy’s Law a reality in our state.