Living Up to Our Values In Maine

Growing up in Maine you are expected to work hard and care and protect your family, friends, and neighbors. It was not uncommon to answer our door and see one of our neighbors or a family member standing outside holding a casserole or a loaf of homemade bread because they heard we were sick or lost a family member. We cared and looked out for one another because it was the right thing to do. 

These values of kindness and fairness are engrained in me as a fifth generation native of this great state and it is these values that guide me as I proudly work to protect victims of crime by helping to pass Marsy’s Law for Maine.

Maine is one of a handful of states without constitutional protections for victims of crime. Marsy’s Law for Maine seeks to change that by amending Maine’s Constitution to provide crime victims with strong and enforceable rights that are equal to those of the accused and convicted.

The belief that crime victims deserve equal rights afforded by the Constitution is the Maine way and it is long overdue. In 1982, President Reagan’s Task Force on Victims of Crime issued a report that concluded the rights of criminal defendants and the rights of crime victims were grossly out of balance and proposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to give crime victims a voice, not a veto, in the legal process.[1]

It’s time for our leaders to live up to Maine’s motto Dirigo, or “I lead” and grant equal rights to crime victims. 

[1] Office of the President, President’s Task Force on Victims of Crime. (December 1982). President’s Task Force on Victims of Crime Final Report, p.114.