North Dakota Voters Overwhelmingly Want Equal Rights for Crime Victims

August 8, 2016

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Amanda Godfread
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North Dakota Voters Overwhelmingly Want Equal Rights for Crime Victims

Marsy’s Law Campaign Releases New Poll and Paid Radio Ad

BISMARCK, N.D. – A new scientific poll conducted in July among likely North Dakota voters found there is overwhelming support for Marsy’s Law for North Dakota, which will be on the November ballot as Measure 3. The poll, conducted by Moore Information, reported a 72%-16% margin of support that spanned all voter subgroups and across all party lines.

“Currently, in North Dakota, those accused or convicted of crimes have stronger legal rights than those victimized by crime. Clearly, the results of this poll show that an overwhelming majority of North Dakotans feel that isn’t right. It’s time to ensure that all North Dakotans have equal rights under the constitution,” said Marsha Lembke, State Director for Marsy’s Law for North Dakota.

Measure 3 will guarantee victims of crime have rights of equal legal standing under the constitution to the rights of accused and convicted criminals, no more and no less. These include the right to be notified of proceedings, the right to be heard throughout the legal process, the right to be free from harassment and the right to restitution. More than 30 other states already have constitutional rights for crime victims, which work well to protect all involved in the criminal justice system. While Measure 3 was crafted by North Dakotans specifically for North Dakota, all elements of it have solid legal precedent.

“Most people do not know that when someone is victimized, the person accused of hurting them automatically has stronger legal rights. It is important that we have this conversation so that everyone understands the benefits Measure 3 will have for victims and their families, who are thrust into the criminal justice system,” said Kathleen Wrigley, Chair of Marsy’s Law for North Dakota.

Moore Information conducted the surveys July 24-25, 2016, by live interviewers using both cellular and landline telephones among representative sample of 500 voters in North Dakota. The potential sampling error is plus or minus 4% at the 95% confidence level. 

In addition to grassroots efforts to educate voters on the need for strengthening crime victims’ rights, the Marsy’s Law for North Dakota coalition has begun airing its first a radio ad as part of a comprehensive statewide campaign. Both paid and grassroots efforts will increase leading up to Election Day, giving a voice to crime victims and ensuring that all voters understand the need for this important change.

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