NV Lawmakers Unite to Support Crime Victims’ Rights
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2017
Contact: Barry Duncan 702-595- 3166
Nevada Lawmakers Unite to Support Crime Victims’ Rights
Victims deserve a voice. Nevada lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are uniting for the good of the people of Nevada. As the legislative session approaches, Nevada Assemblywoman Teresa Benitez-Thompson (D), AD 27, and Nevada Senator Heidi Gansert (R), SD 15, are among the growing list of state lawmakers speaking out in favor of Senate Joint Resolution 17/Marsy’s Law for Nevada. They are also lending their voices in support of the measure to benefit victims across the state.
Assemblywoman Teresa Benitez-Thompson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZTeozGfid0
Senator Heidi Gansert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-w2V3qrOxFE
SJR 17 represents the first major crime victims’ rights effort in the Silver State in 20 years. It would also represent citizens across Nevada who are targeted by criminals. Nevada is currently one of 15 states with no constitutional amendment protecting victims. Lawmakers Benitez-Thompson and Gansert agree with many of their colleagues, as well as civic leaders and advocacy groups across Nevada; a murderer should not have more rights in the eyes of the law than the victim, but that is the case in Nevada and too many states. Thanks to the work of caring individuals over the years, Nevada currently has statutory laws to benefit victims. Those laws would remain and be elevated as Marsy’s Law for NV/SJR 17 would create a constitutional amendment to guarantee victims’ rights and provide requirements for considerations during the judicial process. SJR 17 requires a second legislative vote of approval this session and then goes to a vote of the people.
In Assemblywoman Benitez-Thompson’s opinion, “There has been a lot of consideration given to the way the defendants are treated, and rightfully so, but I also believe it’s time we really thought about the victims of crime. We need to ask if there is equal footing with regard to the treatment and voice they receive during the legal process.” Republican Senator Heidi Gansert agrees and adds, “…it is important that victims have the same level of constitutional rights at the suspects.”
These respected lawmakers are uniting with Democrat and Republican legislative colleagues, caring citizens, prominent advocacy groups, civic leaders, citizens and legal experts across Nevada who also believe it’s time to even the scales of justice for victims. Endorsements just keep flowing in.
Among the advocacy groups signing on for SJR 17 are the Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence, Tu Casa Latina, Committee to Aid Abused Women, Safe Embrace, Winnemucca Domestic Violence Shelter, Children’s Advocacy Alliance, Safe House, Safe Nest, and many more. The amazing organizations understand the value of this measure, first hand, and are actively helping spread the word about Marsy’s Law for Nevada.
They are calling for guaranteed protection for victims.
MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES for this Measure that IMPACTS ALL CITIZENS OF NEVADA
As we approach the opening of the Nevada Legislative Session, we are happy to assist with your story set-up as needed. We will also be sending updates on legislative actions on this measure. This is certainly one of those wide-reaching measures worthy of coverage and consideration, as it could impact every citizen in the state of Nevada, since any one of us could be a victim of crime on any given day.
About Marsy’s Law
The effort is named after Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in California in 1983. A week later he was released pending his court proceedings and went face to face with the victim’s family, who had no idea he was out of jail. Today, her brother, Dr. Henry T. Nicholas, is working to secure a voice and protection for victims and their families, nationwide.
Marsy’s Law for Nevada / Senate Joint Resolution 17
As a constitutional amendment, Marsy’s Law for Nevada must secure Legislative approval in two consecutive sessions, and then the measure will go to a vote of Nevada residents. SJR 17 won its first approval in the 2015 Legislature. 2017 marks its second round of consideration by lawmakers.
SJR 17 would ensure the:
* Right to receive information about the services available to crime victims
* Right to be treated with fairness and respect throughout the criminal justice process
* Right to be protected from the defendant
* Right to notice of all public proceedings in the case
* Right to be reasonably heard, upon request, at all public proceedings regarding the case
* Right to reasonably confer with the prosecuting agency, upon request, regarding the case
* Right to full and timely restitution
Marsy’s Law for Nevada Media Information
We invite media to contact us for interviews about Marsy’s Law. See additional information about the Victim’s Rights measures in Nevada and other states at www.marsyslaw.us, on Facebook and Twitter.
Marsy’s Law for NV / SJR 17
Barry Duncan, State Director
Kim Schofield & Deborah Clayton