North Carolina Communities, Organizations, and Elected Officials Recognize 2018 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

For Immediate Release

April 11, 2018


Anna Roberts    919-208-4050

Chris Sinclair    919-931-4652


North Carolina Communities, Organizations, and Elected Officials Recognize 2018 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

Marsy’s Law NC Legislation being Considered in General Assembly to Strengthen Victims’ Rights in State Constitution


Raleigh, NC – North Carolina’s momentum continues to grow in support of legislation to strengthen victims’ rights statewide coinciding with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (April 8-14).  The Marsy’s Law for North Carolina campaign is building support for a constitutional amendment to strengthen language in the state constitution – giving crime victims an equal level of protection already given to the accused and convicted.  

To-date, almost 40 local and county governments have issued proclamations in support of the legislation and 61 of the state’s sheriffs have individually supported Marsy’s Law.  The nonpartisan legislation, crossing political lines, was also recently endorsed by both the college Democrats and Republicans as well as the largest victims’ rights organization in the state, NC Victim Assistance Network and the state chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. 

“I was proud to be the first mayor in North Carolina to pass a resolution of support for Marsy’s Law. I’m glad to see other mayors joining me. Victims’ rights are long overdue in this state. We need to show victims that we stand behind them,” said Michael Alvarez, mayor of Indian Trail.

Marsy’s Law legislation, House Bill 551, is part of a two-step process to strengthen rights for North Carolina’s victims of crime – first by passing both chambers of the General Assembly by a ⅗ margin followed by a statewide vote.  

Last session, Marsy’s Law legislation passed the state House with overwhelming bipartisan support and now is awaiting a vote in the Senate – as early as the May legislative session. 

“Marsy’s Law ensures victims basic rights as they navigate the judicial process. And while we certainly have some victims’ rights legislation in North Carolina, it’s not always universally applied and enforced, so Marsy’s Law would change that by providing a constitutional level of protection for victims in North Carolina,” said Dare County Board of Commissioners Chairman Bob Woodard.

More than eight in ten North Carolinians from across the political spectrum support amending the constitution to give victims stronger rights according to a survey of North Carolina voters.  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.   

Marsy’s Law for NC kicked off a campaign during the 2017 National Crime Victims’ Week to begin the constitutional amendment process. The victims’ rights legislation has North Carolina-specific language that will focus on felonies and violent misdemeanors.    

It will guarantee that victims receive certain rights in a number of important ways including: 

  • informing victims and their families about their rights and the services available to them,
  • giving them the right to receive notification of proceedings and major developments in a criminal case,
  • protecting their safety by notifying them in a timely manner regarding changes to the offender’s custodial status,
  • allowing victims and their families to exercise their right to be present – and heard – at court proceedings,
  • providing input to the prosecutor before a plea agreement is finalized; and
  • establishing the right to restitution from the convicted.

“The time is right for North Carolina lawmakers to support Marsy’s Law and give crime victims the emotional support, personal protection, and attention they deserve; which has impacted their privacy and safety. I would encourage our legislative partners to endorse and adopt this most important legislation to further protect our citizens.  Becoming an advocate for victims is simply the right thing to do,” said Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman.

For a current list of Marsy’s Law NC current endorsements: 

Watch the Marsy’s Law NC video:

About Marsy’s Law NC

Marsy’s Law for North Carolina seeks to amend the state constitution to provide an equal level of constitutional protection to victims of crime that is already afforded to the accused and convicted.  Marsy’s Law is supported across the political spectrum to ensure that victims have the same “co-equal” rights as the accused and convicted – nothing more; nothing less. 

While there are some victims’ rights protections currently in North Carolina’s constitution, they are not applied the same way from county to county and there is not currently broad, statewide, enforceable language equally outlined across the state.  The Marsy’s Law for NC campaign aims to give victims of crime a voice they do not have by law in the criminal justice process, and the safety and peace-of-mind to know their assailant has not been released without their knowledge. 

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, co-founder of Broadcom Corporation, has made it his mission to give victims and their families constitutional protections and equal rights. He formed Marsy’s Law for All in 2009, providing expertise and resources to victims’ rights organizations nationwide.   

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

For more information on the Marsy’s Law initiative, please visit, and follow on Facebook and Twitter.