North Dakota Efforts Marsy's Law Passed

Marsy’s Law for North Dakota began in 2015 when a committee gathered to draft language for a potential constitutional ballot measure to elevate and strengthen crime victims’ rights. Crime victims, state’s attorneys, law enforcement and private citizens crafted the proposal and an official sponsoring committee of 29 North Dakotans was formed, including state legislators and victim advocates, among others. The ballot language was submitted to the North Dakota Secretary of State’s Office on December 15th, and the committee received approval to begin collecting signatures on December 22nd. State law requires that constitutional initiated measures earn signatures equal to a 4 percent of the resident population of the state at the last federal decennial census, meaning no less than 26,904 signatures needed to be gathered by July 11, 2016. On May 10, 2016, the North Dakota sponsoring committee submitted more than 44,000 signatures in support of placing the measure on the ballot, and it was confirmed by Secretary Jaeger on June 13.

We are grateful to North Dakota chair, Kathleen Wrigley, for her tireless advocacy for crime victims’ rights. We also deeply appreciate the North Dakota Sheriffs & Deputies Association and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynn E. Crooks for their public endorsements of Marsy’s Law for North Dakota, and the countless individuals across the state whose volunteer efforts made a world of difference.

Most importantly, we are indebted to the numerous crime victims all across North Dakota who bravely stepped forward to share their stories of neglect within the criminal justice system. It was their voices that proved the need for stronger crime victims’ rights in our state. We thank you.

Marsha Lembke,
State Director of
Marsy’s Law for North Dakota

Status of Marsy's Law in North Dakota

It was late December in 2015 when the Marsy’s Law team in North Dakota braved the weather to collect over 44,000 signatures of support from North Dakotans. As Chairwoman Kathleen Wrigley, herself a crime victim, spoke strongly in defense of the law, other victims, such as Pam Perleberg, came forward to share their stories of the need for stronger victims’ rights in the state. With polling indicating 72% of North Dakotans approved of the constitutional change and more than thirty-five endorsements, including former Federal Prosecutor Lynn Crooks, it became clear Marsy’s Law had overwhelming support.

The Marsy’s Law for North Dakota team attended over 100 events throughout the state to discuss Marsy’s Law with the citizens of North Dakota. Through the unwavering efforts of many across the state, Marsy’s Law declared victory with 62% of the vote on November 8, 2016.

To learn more about your rights in North Dakota, please visit the North Dakota Attorney General’s Marsy’s Law page.

Get Involved

Every day, across our country people suffer at the hands of criminals. Then they suffer again – as victims, thrust into the complex judicial system and to navigate an unfamiliar court
process. Marsy’s Law proposes a Constitutional Amendment securing permanent, enforceable rights of victims, but we need your help to move forward.

Get involved now by:

  • Making calls from home
  • Telling your story
  • Requesting materials
  • Requesting a speaker
  • Tracking local media
  • Volunteering as a neighborhood leader
  • Downloading and printing literature to share
  • Speaking to a group or organization
  • Spreading the word on and
  • Showing community support

 

Victims' Stories

Broken Trust – Alyssa’s Story

May 11, 2011, I was at my best friend’s house drinking with her and her husband. We had drank at t [...]
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Our System Has Holes: Jessica Armstrong’s Story

In 2007 my sister, Jennifer, was murdered in Minot. Not only was that horrible enough, but Jennifer [...]
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Real Examples of Why Equal Rights Are Needed in North Dakota

For the four-year-old North Dakotan who was a victim of child pornography, does that child (and pare [...]
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Michelle’s Story

“Michelle” is a television news anchor who was looking forward to her birthday on a bitterly col [...]
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Lynn’s Story on Why North Dakota Needs Marsy’s Law

Domestic violence is an issue across the country in which, far too often, abusers are able to escape [...]
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Victims Share Their Story In Support of Marsy’s Law for North Dakota

Thank you to Albert and Shirley Meagher of Grand Forks for sharing their story and support of Marsy [...]
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Violent Crime In Your State: Did You Know?

Did you know, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) most recent “Crime in the United States” report, that in the state of North Dakota there were:

  • 1,954 violent crimes committed in 2013.
  • 16 murders and non-negligent manslaughters committed in 2013.
  • 330 rapes committed in 2013.
  • 162 robberies committed in 2013.
  • 1,446 aggravated assaults committed in 2013.

 

Source: Crime in the United States, By State, 2013, Federal Bureau of Investigation website.

Resources in North Dakota

North Dakota Victim Services

North Dakota Crime Victim Compensation Board

North Dakota Council On Abused Women’s Services

North Dakota Victims Assistance Association