Marsy’s Law for North Carolina Building Momentum Statewide

This month, Marsy’s Law for North Carolina received another important statewide victims’ advocacy organization endorsement.  North Carolina’s Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) publicly endorsed House Bill 551, Marsy’s Law, which will strengthen rights for crime victims in the state constitution.

“Mothers Against Drunk Driving-North Carolina, strongly supports expanding and protecting the rights of crime victims, including victims of drunk driving, as provided by Marsy’s Law (NC H.B. 551),” said Irene Dwinnell, NC State Executive Director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. “MADD looks forward to working with Dr. Henry T. Nicholas and his North Carolina team as they endeavor to change how victims of crimes are treated in North Carolina.”

MADD NC joins the statewide North Carolina Victims Assistance Network in the broad, bipartisan support for strengthening victims’ rights that are gaining momentum statewide. In recent weeks, the campaign has also secured resolutions from five local communities as well as individual endorsements from 15 sheriffs, six county commissioners, eight mayors, 41 town council members, and two members of the Council of State.

There are already 35 county chairs spearheading local grassroots efforts across the state with more folks signing up to support the cause every week. This reinforces the results of a recent survey among North Carolina voters: that a majority of North Carolinians support strengthening victims’ rights into the state constitution. More than eight in ten North Carolinians from across the political spectrum support amending the constitution to give victims stronger rights.  Nearly nine out of ten voters believe that crime victims should be guaranteed notification of a criminal’s bail, parole, release or escape and that victims, if they choose, have the constitutional right to speak at the bail or sentencing hearing.

The Legislation passed the state House in April and is awaiting a vote in the Senate when the General Assembly returns this fall. And it’s clear by this statewide momentum: North Carolina’s community leaders, local elected officials, and voters want to send House Bill 551 to a statewide vote. Let them finally ensure that North Carolina’s victims of crime are given the constitutional guarantee of equal rights that their offenders already have.