Through my experience as an attorney, it’s evident that the way a state treats its most vulnerable citizens speaks volume about its values. While our justice system in the Sunshine State endeavors to protect the rights of all citizens, there is an opportunity to improve how crime victims are protected in the Florida Constitution...
As a Broward County Commissioner and lifelong District 4 resident, I care deeply about my fellow citizens and want to ensure their safety and quality of life. A proposal before the Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) called Marsy’s Law would amend our state constitution to give equal rights to crime victims. Quite simply, Proposal 96 is good public policy and I am proud to offer my support...
April 4, 2018
Jennifer Fennell, CoreMessage
(850) 597-0057, [email protected]
Florida Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran Endorses Marsy’s Law
TALLAHASSEE – Florida Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran announced his support for Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) Proposal 96 (also known as Marsy’s Law for Florida) in a letter to commissioners, calling on his appointees to support the proposal, which would provide crime victims and their families with clear, enforceable protections in the Florida Constitution.
“Florida should join the growing list of states that have enshrined these important protections in their state constitutions,” Speaker Richard Corcoran wrote in his letter. “As a member of the Commission, you have the tremendous opportunity to ensure that crime victims’ rights and interests are protected by law … This provision puts the constitutional rights of a crime victim on equal footing with the rights of the accused. Victims of crime deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.”
Last month, the full CRC voted in favor of Marsy’s Law for Florida. The measure will go before the full CRC again for a second vote and must receive a minimum of 22 votes in order to be placed on the 2018 General Election ballot. The proposal must be approved by 60 percent of voters to be placed in the Florida Constitution.
Speaker Corcoran’s endorsement comes just before National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 8-14, where communities across the country will come together to raise awareness for victims’ rights and encourage access to important protections for all crime victims.
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.
Throughout my career as a prosecutor, legislator and now member of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission, preserving Floridians’ civil rights and reforming our criminal justice system have been two of my top priorities. CRC Proposal 96, Marsy’s Law for Florida, combines these inherent passions and I am proud to support my fellow commissioner, Tim Cerio, as a co-sponsor of the measure....
The last two weeks have been awesome for Marsy’s Law for Florida as we received the support of some of the state’s top leaders and influencers.
Last Tuesday, Governor Rick Scott announced his support for Marsy’s Law for Florida at a press conference in St. Petersburg. Governor Scott said, “Florida stands with victims – we have taken important steps in our state to protect those who need it most, and we must continue to do that in the future.” Standing alongside the Governor were victims, survivors, and victim advocates. Our thanks to Sen. Lauren Book, Michael Liles, and Connie Rose who shared their powerful and painful stories of being victimized and then revictimized by the criminal justice system.
We also garnered the support of former Governor Jeb Bush, who penned a supportive op-ed in the Miami Herald.
More state attorneys have come to the table, including:
- Andrew Warren, State Attorney of Florida’s 13th Judicial Circuit, Hillsborough County;
- Katherine Fernandez Rundle, State Attorney of Florida’s 11th Judicial Circuit, Miami-Dade County;
- J. Larizza, State Attorney of Florida’s 7th Judicial Circuit, Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia Counties, and
- Dave Aronberg, State Attorney of Florida’s 15th Judicial Circuit, Palm Beach County.
The support list kept growing with the addition of the Florida law enforcement leaders, the Florida Police Chiefs Association and Florida Sheriffs Association, who signaled their support for Marsy’s Law for Florida through letters to Constitution Revision Commission member Tim Cerio, sponsor of Proposal 96 – Marsy’s Law.
Recent polls continue to show strong support for Marsy’s Law for Florida among voters, as well.
However, the biggest victory this past week was the first vote on Marsy’s Law for Florida held by the full Florida Constitution Revision Commission. In this first floor vote of the commission, we needed a majority of commissioners to vote in favor of Marsy’s Law for Florida. I am happy to report that we secured 30 favorable votes!