Meet Your Marsy’s Law Team – Laura Viozzi
In 2009, Dr. Henry Nicholas formed Marsy’s Law for All and, throughout the years, many talented and passionate individuals have answered the call to help ensure victims have the rights they deserve. The Marsy’s Law for All team is comprised of men and women across the United States who are dedicated to serving victims of crime, in some cases themselves having personally experienced the devasting effects of being victimized. We are grateful for the opportunity to share the stories of those behind Marsy’s Law for All and why we have chosen to commit ourselves to helping victims through the passage of Marsy’s Law.
Please meet Laura Viozzi, from the Marsy’s Law For North Dakota team, who is responsible for helping educate voters and rally grassroots support for North Dakota crime victims’ rights.
What made you interested in working with Marsy’s Law For North Dakota?
I came to Marsy’s Law for North Dakota unexpectedly.
Following my move to North Dakota and my divorce 10 years later, I knew I wanted to do something to help individuals unfamiliar with our legal system. This led me to reconsider practicing law again. As I haven’t practiced since moving here, I took the state bar exam and was getting back into my mediation and collaborative law work, with an eye toward helping others.
It was around this time that I learned of Marsy’s Law through my fiancé. After talking with the Marsy’s Law team, it was clear to me that I had found where my passion would be best utilized. I am honored to share the information and encourage North Dakota voters to vote yes on this very importance initiative.
What were you doing prior to working with Marsy’s Law?
I’ve been raising my family full time for the last 16 years. Over the last three, I’ve been working toward starting to practice law again, but in a non-adversarial way. It has been a goal to use my legal skills to help people end their marriages in a new way, with an eye to protect the children and maintain working parental relationships after the shift to two households.
Tell us something fun we don’t know about you!
I grew up in Hershey, Pennsylvania and, of course, love chocolate.
If you could explain why you personally think Marsy’s Law is needed, what would you say?
Marsy’s Law for North Dakota is necessary in our state to bring victim’s rights onto equal footing with the rights we afford defendants. This is not to say that we want to take rights from the defendants. Nothing in the language of Marsy’s law trumps a defendant rights. What it DOES do is allow victims to assert a right where, up to now, they had no remedy. Under current North Dakota law, many of the provisions set forth in the code are not followed by some in the criminal justice system. But worse, when the rules are blatantly ignored, there is no actionable remedy for a victim. No mechanism exists under the current construct. The statute precludes any action to require compliance. It’s a rule without teeth. The Marsy’s Law amendment would bring the rights into line with those of the defendant and ensure they are given access to a remedy when they are denied these rights.