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Another dozen sheriffs endorse crime victim rights amendment

More than a dozen law enforcement leaders announced Tuesday that they were in support of the Constitution Revision Commission proposal to add a “crime victim bill of rights” to the Florida Constitution.

The Tuesday announcement follows a previous bulk endorsement that saw two dozen sheriffs sign on to support the proposal, commonly known as “Marsy’s Law.” Adding in the dozen sheriffs endorsing Amendment 6 today, the measure now has the support of more than half of Florida’s elected lawmen.

Lining up behind Amendment 6 Tuesday were Dixie Sheriff Dewey Hatcher, Escambia Sheriff David Morgan, Glades Sheriff David Hardin, Indian River Sheriff Deryl Loar, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams, Lake Sheriff Peyton Grinnell, Marion Sheriff Billy Woods, Miami-Dade Police Department Director Juan Perez, Nassau Sheriff Bill Leeper, Okeechobee Sheriff Noel Stephen, Osceola Sheriff Russell Gibson, Polk Sheriff Grady Judd and Putnam Sheriff Gator DeLoach. Also included in the announcement was retired Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti.

Amendment 6 also has broad support among Florida’s state attorneys and voters, who in a March poll supported the proposal 78-13 with 9 percent undecided.

Marsy’s Law would put several rights for crime victims into the state’s governing document.

Among the provisions are requirements that crime victims be informed of their rights and the services available to them, an entitlement to updates on criminal proceedings, a right to know about meetings between the accused and state attorneys before plea deals agreed to, and the option to attend and speak during court proceedings.

Marsy’s Law takes its name from Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas of California who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. After a successful push for measure bearing Nicholas’ name in her home state, victim rights advocates have expanded their push nationwide.

As of 2018, all but 15 states, including Florida, enumerate victims’ rights in their constitutions.

Marsy’s Law is one of 13 amendments, and one of eight CRC proposals, slated to go before Florida voters during the Nov. 6 general election. Ballot amendments need at least 60 percent support from voters in order to make it into the Florida Constitution.

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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