Marsy’s Law for Florida Commends Pasco County Sheriff’s Office for Victims’ Rights Notification Materials

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 3, 2019

CONTACT:

Jennifer Fennell, CoreMessage

(850) 222-3767, marsyslawfl@coremessage.com

 

TALLAHASSEE – Marsy’s Law for Florida is highlighting the victims’ rights information distributed by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office as an example of what law enforcement agencies should be providing victims following a crime.

The language in the Pasco County materials provides a complete and accurate summary of the rights to which crime victims are now entitled under the state constitution. Most importantly, they do not include antiquated language previously included in the state constitution or in statute that directly conflicts with current constitutional crime victims’ rights.

“The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office has done an excellent job ensuring victims have a clear understanding that they have both constitutional and statutory rights afforded to them and that those constitutional rights take precedence over any other rights that may be in Florida statute,” said Paul Hawkes, counsel for Marsy’s Law for Florida. “If other law enforcement agencies are looking for a model victims’ notification packet, we encourage them to look at Pasco County’s materials.”

Some of the rights clearly communicated in the Pasco County victims’ rights notification materials include:

  • Crime victims’ right to confer with the State Attorney’s office on all cases
  • The right to be present and notified at all public proceedings related to their case
  • The right to prevent the automatic, public disclosure of any personally identifiable information that would be used to locate or harass them

Pasco County’s victims’ rights notification documents were obtained through a public records request Marsy’s Law for Florida made of all Florida’s sheriffs’ offices in June.

A specific set of clear, enforceable crime victims’ rights was placed in the Florida Constitution following the passage of Amendment 6 this past November. These rights were officially enacted on January 8, 2019, and are commonly referred to as Marsy’s Law for Florida rights.

Under Marsy’s Law for Florida, law enforcement agencies are required to inform crime victims of these Constitutional rights.

For more information on Marsy’s Law for Florida, visit www.marsyslawforfl.com.

 

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About Marsy’s Law

Marsy’s Law is named after Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas of California who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Only one week after her death, Marsy’s mother and brother, Henry T. Nicholas, walked into a grocery store where they were confronted by the accused murderer. The family, who had just come from a visit to Marsy’s grave, was unaware that the accused had been released on bail. In an effort to honor his sister, Dr. Nicholas, co-founder of Broadcom Corporation, has made it his mission to give victims and their families constitutional protections and equal rights. He formed Marsy’s Law for All in 2009, providing expertise and resources to victims’ rights organizations nationwide.