Marsy’s Law for Florida Makes Public Records Requests of State Attorneys
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Apr. 22, 2019
Jennifer Fennell, CoreMessage
(850) 222-3767, [email protected]
TALLAHASSEE – Marsy’s Law for Florida sent certified letters to the state attorneys in each of Florida’s judicial circuits requesting public records pertaining to the implementation of Amendment 6, the crime victims’ rights amendment passed by a supermajority of Floridians.
The request includes:
- Documents denoting, depicting or designating changes to the judicial circuit’s policies or procedures, which were created as a result of the passage of Amendment 6.
- Victims’ privacy protections including the right of a victim to prevent the disclosure of information that could be used to locate or harass them, initial notification to a victim of their rights, allowing victims to “opt in” to various rights and facilitating a victim’s right to confer with the prosecutor on their case.
- Emails and calendar invitations regarding the implementation of a victim’s rights for each state attorney and key members of their staffs.
- Any email correspondence from legislative email addresses regarding the implementation of the victims’ rights portion of Amendment 6.
“The passage of Amendment 6 was a pivotal moment for Florida crime victims and their advocates because it sent a strong signal that Floridians believed victims were entitled to rights equal to those provided the accused and convicted and they were entitled to have mechanisms in place to ensure they are receiving those rights and protections,” said Paul Hawkes, former judge and counsel for Marsy’s Law for Florida. “Our public records requests of state attorneys will provide us with valuable information about how they are implementing Marsy’s Law for Florida, specifically how they are notifying victims’ of their rights. Through this information gathering process, we can work together to share best practices and ensure victims know about and can avail themselves of their rights.”
Amendment 6, known as Marsy’s Law for Florida, was passed by Florida voters on November 6, 2018, and was officially enacted on January 8, 2019. It enshrined in the state constitution a specific set of clear, enforceable rights for crime victims. Marsy’s Law for Florida replaced the single, ambiguous sentence related to crime victims’ rights that previously was previously placed in the state constitution 30 years prior.
“During the campaign for Amendment 6/Marsy’s Law for Florida, we were pleased to have broad support for its passage from then-Attorney General Pam Bondi, many state attorneys, the Florida Sheriffs Association, the Florida Police Chiefs Association, and a significant number of Florida’s elected law enforcement leaders. We look forward to working with law enforcement on seeing that these new constitutional rights for victims are safeguarded from the moment of victimization,” added Hawkes.
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.