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POINT OF VIEW: Marsy’s Law crucial for Florida crime victims

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...

 

Click here to read the rest of the article in the Palm Beach Post.

A vote for Marsy’s Law helps protect vulnerable victims of crime | Opinion

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...

 

Click here to read the rest of the article in the Sun Sentinel.

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FLORIDA SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE RICHARD CORCORAN ENDORSES MARSY’S LAW

April 4, 2018

CONTACT:

Jennifer Fennell, CoreMessage

(850) 597-0057, jennifer@coremessage.com

 

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.

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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.

Column: Add rights for crime victims to Florida Constitution

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....

 

Click here to read the rest of the Tampa Bay Times column.

Marsy’s Law for Florida sails through CRC with support from top leaders

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!

Marsy’s Law will ensure families aren’t forgotten

I believe victims have the right to be heard and the right to be notified about developments in their cases. This is why I am supporting Marsy’s Law and why I urge all Floridians to do the same.

Ten years ago, a distracted driver killed my husband. One young person’s terrible judgment robbed me of the man I love, our children’s father, and our family’s primary provider.

In the midst of our terrible grief, we were forced to deal with a system that at best made us feel small and at worst made us feel nonexistent. We never learned whether the young man driving the car that night was formally charged, nor were we given any opportunity to speak in court or at a sentencing hearing.

To make amends, this person was required to write my family a letter of apology and to complete a certain number of community service hours. We spent years trying to find anyone who could tell us whether the letter had been written or if he had completed the community service. We were left in the dark, which was not only infuriating, but wholly disrespectful to my husband’s memory. We still have not received a letter and it has been more than a decade.

If Marsy’s Law makes it onto the ballot and the voters approve it, families like mine will no longer feel forgotten as they seek justice for their loved ones. Victims will not have to worry about being overlooked in the justice system. We will have information. Everyone knows knowledge is power, and that power is often the key to healing. I implore everyone to support this proposal for victims and their families in the state of Florida.

– Judy Kitchen

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Constitution Revision Commission Committee Passes Marsy's Law for Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 19, 2018

 

CONTACT:

Cory Tilley, CoreMessage

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

Jennifer Fennell, CoreMessage

(850) 597-0057, jennifer@coremessage.com

Cover Photo

Constitution Revision Commission Committee Holds Workshop on Victims' Rights; Marsy's Law for Florida Discussed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 12, 2017

CONTACT:

Cory Tilley, CoreMessage

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

Jennifer Fennell, CoreMessage

(850) 597-0057, jennifer@coremessage.com

 

Constitution Revision Commission Committee Holds Workshop on Victims’ Rights; Marsy’s Law for Florida Discussed

~Supporters from across the state demonstrate support for Marsy’s Law for Florida~

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Poll Shows Floridians Overwhelmingly Support Adding Victims' Rights to the Florida Constitution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 11, 2017

 

CONTACT:

Cory Tilley, CoreMessage

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

Jennifer Fennell, CoreMessage

(850) 597-0057, jennifer@coremessage.com

 

Poll Shows Floridians Overwhelmingly Support Adding Victims’ Rights to The Florida Constitution

~ If Vote Were Held Today, a Victims’ Bill of Rights Would Pass With 85 Percent Approval~