Clerks of court from 17 Florida counties on Thursday endorsed Amendment 6, which would add a “crime victim bill of rights” to the Florida Constitution.
“As Clerk of the Circuit Court, my office interacts with victims, survivors, and their families on a daily basis,” said Martin County Clerk Carolyn Timmann.
Timmann also was a member of the 2017-18 Constitution Revision Commission (CRC), which OK’d the amendment for ballot placement.
“Rights of crime victims belong in the Florida Constitution and Amendment 6 allows victims of crime to ‘opt-in’ to receive notification of all legal proceedings, and the rights of privacy, to be heard, and to be protected from harassment,” she said.
Timmann added that Amendment 6, also known as “Marsy’s Law,” would “help give victims the dignity and respect they deserve.”
Joining Timmann in endorsing Amendment 6 were Baker County Clerk Stacie Harvey, Bradford County Clerk Ray Norman, Citrus County Clerk Angela Vick, Clay County Clerk Tara Green, Franklin County Clerk Marcia Johnson, Hendry County Clerk Barbara Butler, Hernando County Clerk Don Barbee, Indian River County Clerk Jeff Smith, Lee County Clerk Linda Doggett, Manatee County Clerk Angelina Colonneso, Okeechobee County Clerk Sharon Robertson, Pasco County Clerk Paula O’Neil, Pinellas County Clerk Ken Burke, Putnam County Clerk Tim Smith, Polk County Clerk Stacy Butterfield and Wakulla County Clerk Brent Thurmond.
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. Amendments need at least 60 percent support from voters in order to make it into the Florida Constitution.