Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco Submits Marsy’s Law for Florida Proposed Amendment to the Florida Constitution Revision Commission

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 06, 2017

 

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Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco Submits Marsy’s Law for Florida Proposed Amendment to the Florida Constitution Revision Commission

~Measure Gains Support of Additional Constitution Revision Commission Members~

 

Tallahassee, FL– Pasco County Sheriff and Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) member Chris Nocco today officially submitted to the CRC Marsy’s Law for Florida, a proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution that would place equal rights for crime victims on the 2018 General Election ballot. The proposed amendment, once passed by the CRC and approved by the voters, brings assurance that victims of crime and their families are provided with enforceable constitutional protections, the same level that is afforded to those accused and convicted – nothing more and nothing less.

“I believe victims of crime should have the same rights as the accused and should be treated fairly and with dignity,” said Sheriff Nocco. “By allowing this language on the 2018 ballot, we will be giving all Floridians the ability to put their stamp of approval on this common sense, victim-friendly initiative. I ask my fellow CRC commissioners to stand with me in supporting this measure.”

Marsy’s Law for Florida has also gained the support of two additional CRC members. Constitution Revision Commissioners Patricia Levesque and Carolyn Timmann have both signed on as co-sponsors of the initiative. 

“Our state and federal constitutions protect the legal rights of those accused of committing a crime, but are silent when it comes to the rights of victims,” said Commissioner Levesque. “By putting Marsy’s Law on the ballot, Floridians have the opportunity to ensure that victims and their families are treated with the dignity they deserve.”

“I applaud Commissioner Nocco’s common sense proposal that simply gives victims the same level of rights as those accused of criminal wrongdoing,” said Commissioner Timmann. “Those hurt by a crime deserve respect from the criminal justice system. By enshrining their rights in our state constitution, we are sending a strong message that victims of crimes will be heard and will be respected.” 

Background on the Constitution Revision Commission

Florida’s Constitution is unique in that it allows a 37-member revision commission to meet every 20 years for the purpose of holding public hearings, reviewing the current constitution and proposing changes to the constitution for voters’ consideration. Its make-up consists of the Attorney General, 15 appointees from the Governor, nine appointees from the Florida Senate President, nine appointees from the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, and three appointees from the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court. Any amendments approved by the CRC will be placed on the 2018 General Election ballot and will require 60 percent approval by the voters for passage. Any amendment passed will be added to the Florida Constitution.

Background on Marsy’s Law for Florida

While most states provide crime victims with constitutional-level protections, Florida remains one of only 15 that does not. Once adopted by the voters, Marsy’s Law will grant constitutional rights to crime victims on par with those provided to the accused and convicted, including: 

Marsy’s Law Rights

Marsy’s Law 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.

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 in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Illinois. 

For more information on the Marsy’s Law initiative, please visit https://marsyslaw.us, and follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Additional Information

More information is available online at https://marsyslaw.us/marsys-law-state-efforts/florida/.  

Marsy’s Law for Florida can be found on Facebook and Twitter at: @MarsysLawForFL. #ML4FL

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

 

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