New Poll Shows Floridians Overwhelmingly Support Adding Victims’ Rights to the Florida Constitution
Floridians strongly believe that victims should have clear, enforceable rights outlined in the Florida Constitution according to a recent poll. An overwhelming 87 percent of likely voters believe victims should have, at the very least, the same protections in the state constitution as those given to those accused of committing crimes – the basis of Marsy’s Law for Florida. This bipartisan proposal also received bipartisan support in Florida with 83 percent of Democrats, 86 percent of Independents and 92 percent of Republicans in favor of including victims’ rights in the state constitution.
When asked if crime victims should have the constitutional right to speak at the bail or sentencing hearing of the accused or convicted, support rises to 89 percent. Seventy-seven (77) percent of Florida voters believe that victims of crimes should have the constitutional right to be consulted by the state attorney before plea bargain negotiations can begin. When asked if we should change the current system so victims of crime have their rights protected in the state constitution versus the opposing view that victims’ rights are already protected by local state attorneys, Florida voters favor changing the system by a 70 percent to 20 percent margin.
These polling numbers also indicate that Floridians are poised to vote in favor of Marsy’s Law for Florida should it make it onto the 2018 General Election ballot. When read specific ballot language and informed of the background behind Marsy’s Law, 85 percent of those surveyed said they would vote for a constitutional amendment that guarantees victims’ rights in the Florida Constitution. This support again crosses party lines with 83 percent of Democrats, 87 percent of Independents and 88 percent of Republicans saying they would vote for the measure.
That’s good news for Florida where a minimum of 60 percent of voters must vote in favor of any amendments to the state constitution.