As a dedicated husband whose wife lost her 33 year old brother to a drunk drivers negligence in 1993 I have seen all too well the incredible pain a family suffers at the tragic loss of a loved one.
Behind every headline is a crime victim and their family who is too often overlooked. They deserve to be treated with dignity and respect by our legal system.
That’s why I support Marsy’s Law for Ohio, a constitutional amendment ensuring equal rights for crime victims.
All across Ohio, the Marsy’s Law movement is gaining momentum as more than half a million Ohioans signed petitions to put the issue on the November 2017 ballot. And community leaders, local law enforcement, elected officials and crime victim advocates are all lending their support to the crime victim bill of rights.
Marsy’s Law would grant these basic rights to crime victims:
• The right to be treated with respect, fairness and dignity throughout the criminal justice process.
• The right to information about the rights and services available to crime victims.
• The right to be notified in a timely manner of major proceedings and developments in the case and the right to be notified of all changes to an offender’s status.
• The right to be present at court proceedings and provide input to a prosecutor before a plea deal is struck.
• The right to be heard at pleas or sentence proceedings or any process that may grant an offender’s release.
• The right to restitution.
Marsy’s Law rights would be provided to crime victims in the form of Marsy’s Card, which will help crime victims clearly understand their rights.
The law is named after Marsalee (Marsy) Nicholas, a University of California Santa Barbara student, who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Only a week after Marsy was murdered, her brother and mother walked into a grocery store after visiting Marsy’s grave and were confronted by the accused murderer. The family had no idea that he had been released on bail.
Please join me in supporting Marsy’s Law for Ohio and casting your vote this November for this important addition to Ohio’s Constitution.
Pastor Tim Throckmorton