Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma Kicks Off Statewide Campaign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 1, 2017

 

Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma Kicks Off Statewide Campaign

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – On Tuesday, January 31, less than one week before the 2017 legislative session begins, Rep. Scott Biggs led the formal public announcement of his HJR1002 bill language – also known as Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma – in front of media and victims’ rights advocates, inside the Senate Assembly Room at the Oklahoma State Capitol. 

Watch the Marsy’s Law launch video here. 

The proposed constitutional amendment, once passed by the legislature and approved by the voters, would ensure that crime victims and their families are provided with the same level of equal, or “co-equal”, constitutional rights as those afforded and guaranteed to the accused or convicted, effectively amending Section 34 of Article II of the Oklahoma Constitution.

Rep. Biggs was joined by remarks from District Attorney, and DA Council Chair, Mike Fields and Vice President of the Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police, Mark Nelson, along with a video testimonial and appearance by Virginia Lewis, a survivor of sexual assault and longtime victims’ rights advocate from Tulsa.

“We, as law enforcement, stand with the victims,” Nelson said. “We want to prevent crime but in the case that we cannot, we want to prevent victims from being re-victimized by the justice system.” 

Included in the overall effort to re-inject the voice of the victim into court proceedings, passage of Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma would ensure that Oklahomans would receive a “Marsy Card” upon first interaction with law enforcement, that they would be properly notified of updates throughout the process of their case and would be guaranteed a speedy trial in an effort to restore dignity throughout the entire process, among other suggested modifications to the existing protections.

“These rights are simple and straight-forward,” said Fields. “Whether or not the criminal justice system honors and protects these rights can be the difference between the victim achieving justice and restoration, and one who feels let down by the system. Or even worse – ignored entirely.”

Staff and supporters from the YWCA Oklahoma City and Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault were also in attendance during the press conference.

Marsy’s Law from Oklahoma will soon announce a State Director to serve as the face of the statewide movement.

About Marsy’s Law

Marsy’s Law is named after Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas of California who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Only one week after her death, Marsy’s mother and brother, Henry T. Nicholas, walked into a grocery store where they were confronted by the accused murderer. The family, who had just come from a visit to Marsy’s grave, was unaware that the accused had been released on bail. In an effort to honor his sister, Dr. Nicholas has made it his life’s mission to give victims and their families constitutional protections and equal rights.

Since California’s passage of the Victim’s Bill of Rights Act of 2008, Marsy’s Law legislation has also succeeded in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Illinois. 

Additional Information

Photos from the press conference can be found here.

Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma can be found on Facebook and Twitter at: @MarsysLawforOK

#ML4OK

Victims and supporters interested in sharing their stories can email [email protected].

 

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Contact: Tracey Zeeck, Bumbershoot PR

405-601-8436, [email protected]