Marsy’s Law for Florida Releases New Statewide “Yes on Amendment 6” Ad
Marsy’s Law for Florida today released a new statewide ad in support of equal rights for crime victims. It is part of a substantial statewide broadcast, cable and digital advertising campaign encouraging Floridians to vote in favor of Amendment 6, which would place clear, enforceable rights for crime victims in the state constitution.
“Our newest ad focuses on the rights the accused and convicted have versus the rights provided to the victim. We are all familiar with the Miranda Rights read to someone when they are arrested. Most Floridians are shocked to find out crime victims in our state aren’t automatically provided similar rights and protections,” said Greg Ungru, Marsy’s Law for Florida State Director. “A vote for Amendment 6/Marsy’s Law for Florida would correct this injustice and would ensure all crime victims in Florida have the same rights and protections as the accused and convicted – nothing more and nothing less.”
There are 20 distinct rights afforded to the accused and convicted, which are enumerated in the U.S. Constitution. The Florida Constitution also provides rights and protections for the accused and convicted. While the U.S. Constitution is silent on victims’ rights, the Florida Constitution currently includes a single sentence related to victims’ rights: “Victims of crime or their lawful representatives, including the next of kin of homicide victims, are entitled to the right to be informed, to be present, and to be heard when relevant, at all crucial stages of criminal proceedings, to the extent that these rights do not interfere with constitutional rights of the accused.”
That 30-year-old language is vague and can be open to interpretation. Additionally, these minimal rights are not being applied and enforced consistently. Placing a new set of specific crime victims’ rights in the state’s most powerful legal document will ensure victims are uniformly and routinely provided these rights and protections across the state.
If passed by 60 percent of the voters in November, Amendment 6/Marsy’s Law for Florida would provide crime victims with the following rights:
- To be treated with dignity, respect, courtesy, sensitivity and fairness.
- To have standing in court.
- 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 about 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 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 the 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.
For more information on Amendment 6/Marsy’s Law for Florida, visit www.marsyslawforfl.com.