Author: Nancy Perry
By PoliceOne Staff
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Six states voted yesterday to pass a ‘victims’ bill of rights’ law, which ensures constitutional rights for victims of crimes, Forbes reported.
Voters in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina and Oklahoma approved Marsy’s Law, which was first passed in California in 2008 and spearheaded by Broadcom billionaire Henry Nicholas, whose sister Marsy was murdered by an ex-boyfriend in 1983.
“If any good can come of something this horrible—the loss of my sister and the losses of other families of crime victims—it is that these violent acts served as a catalyst for change,” Nicholas wrote.
Since then, four other states including Illinois, North Dakota, South Dakota and Ohio have implemented versions of the law, which provides victims with formal notices of criminal proceedings, the right to speak at those proceedings and notifications of offenders’ release from prison.
Critics of the bill say that since victims are not required to be deposed under the law, it impacts defendants’ right to due process and compromises the notion of innocent until proven guilty.
“It is gratifying to know that innocent victims of crime in these states will not have to suffer the injustices that my family endured upon my sister’s murder,” Nicholas wrote in a press release. “These are rights that all Americans deserve.”