Why should voters support Marsy's Law?
Judge Cassell, a former circuit court judge, sheds some light on this question.
What is Marsy's Law?
Marsy’s Law is seeking to elevate key rights of crime victims into the state’s Constitution to ensure that victims have rights that are equal, in stature, to the constitutional rights of the accused and convicted. These constitutional protections for crime victims would include the following rights:
· To be treated with dignity, respect, courtesy, sensitivity and fairness.
· To privacy.
· To have information or records protected that could be used to locate or harass the victim or which could disclose confidential or privileged information of the victim.
· To proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
· To timely disposition of the case free from unreasonable delay.
· To be present at all proceedings involving the case.
· To reasonable protection from the accused throughout the justice process.
· To reasonable and timely notice of proceedings.
· To confer with the attorney for the government.
· To be informed by and provide input to the attorney for the government about any case disposition agreement including a plea agreement deferred prosecution agreement or diversion agreement before a decision is made concerning such agreement.
· To be heard in any proceeding during which a right of the victim is implicated including release, plea, sentencing, disposition, parole, revocation, expungement, or pardon.
· To have the authority with jurisdiction over the case provided with information pertaining to the economic, physical and psychological effect of the crime or juvenile act upon the victim and have the information considered by the authority with jurisdiction.
· To timely notice of any release, escape or death of the accused, if the accused is in custody or on supervision at the time of death.
· To refuse an interview, deposition or other discovery request made by the accused or any person acting on behalf of the accused.
· To full restitution and to be provided with assistance collecting restitution.
· To have any monies or property collected from any person who has been ordered to make restitution be first applied to the restitution owed to the victim before paying any amounts owed to the government.
· To compensation as provided by law.
· To timely information about the outcome of the case.
· To timely notice about all rights in this section, or as provided by law, including the enforcement of these rights.
Finally, Marsy’s Law includes a clause on enforceability, so that if a victim of crime feels that any of their rights have been violated, they will have standing to petition the judge for a remedy.