POMEROY — The Meigs County Prosecutor has endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment designed to protect the rights of victims of crime.
On April 6, Prosecutor James K. Stanley formally endorsed Marsy’s Law for Ohio, becoming one of the first prosecuting attorneys in southeastern Ohio to pledge support for the proposed crime victims’ bill of rights Constitutional amendment.
The proposed Constitutional amendment will appear on the ballot in November 2017 if enough valid signatures are collected across the stat of Ohio. If the measure passes, Ohio will join California, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Illinois as states that have enacted Marsy’s Law.
Marsy’s Law for Ohio is named for Marsy Nicholas, who was stalked and murdered by her ex-boyfriend in California in 1983. The family of the victim was not notified that the defendant had been released on bail and had the traumatizing experience of subsequently encountering the defendant in a public place shortly after visiting Marsy’s grave. Marsy’s Law for Ohio seeks to preserve the victim’s right to receive timely notification of changes to the offender’s custodial status in order to prevent the trauma that Marsy’s family suffered.
Other rights established in Marsy’s Law for Ohio include the victim’s right to be treated with courtesy, fairness, and respect for their dignity and privacy throughout the criminal justice proceedings; the victim’s right to receive information about their rights and services available to crime victims; the victim’s right to receive timely notification of proceedings and other major developments in the criminal case; the victim’s right to be present at court proceedings and provide input to a prosecutor before the plea deal is finalized; the victim’s right to be heard at plea or sentencing proceedings or any process that may result in the offender’s release; and the victim’s right to restitution.
While these rights are already codified in the Ohio Revised Code, these rights are not always honored throughout the State of Ohio. Adding a crime victim’s bill of rights to the Ohio Constitution will help ensure that these crime victim rights are no longer overlooked or disregarded.
“The Meigs County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the Meigs County Victim Assistance Program proudly ensures that local crime victims’ rights are preserved throughout the criminal justice process and is dedicated to the preservation of these rights throughout the State of Ohio, and ultimately, throughout the entire country,” states the release from the prosecutor’s office.