Another dozen sheriffs endorse crime victim rights amendment - Florida Politics

Another dozen sheriffs endorse crime victim rights amendment

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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.

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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.

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.

3 Comments

  1. This is a day late and a dollar short for many victims of crime in Florida. My own family has been impacted by the cavalier attitude in the State Attorney’s office toward victims. My minor granddaughter’s molester was arrested and released on bond without any notification to her or her mother by law enforcement or the State Attorney. When their attacker is released is vital to let the victim know should they choose to violate any injunction and make an appearance at the victim’s home. It is also incumbent on the SA to let the victims know when charges are filed. This gives the victim a clear signal that they have been believed at least to the extent that the SA is willing to file charges. It is one of those instances when I truly wish for the ability to make someone walk in a victim’s shoes for a day.

    1. I am sorry for the tragedy you experienced and we would greatly appreciate the opportunity to share your story in an effort to get Amendment 6/Marsy’s Law passed in November. Please contact me if you would like to help our efforts.

  2. Criminals have had way to many rights protecting them fir many many years. Far as I’m concerned, anyone breaking into my house looses all their rights and any thing I do to protect family and property should be legal after the point of entry.

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