SQ 794 Hosts Lawton Launch Event, Announces Statewide Effort
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2017
SQ 794 HOSTS LAWTON LAUNCH EVENT, ANNOUNCES STATEWIDE EFFORT
Final constitutional amendment by vote of the people would enshrine crime victims’ rights in 2018
LAWTON – Today the campaign launch for State Question 794 concluded with a third, and final, series event in a morning announcement at the Hilton Garden Inn. After passage by a vote of the people in the next general election, the proposed constitutional amendment, also known as Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma, would elevate the rights of victims of crime to mirror those rights granted to the accused and convicted.
The program featured remarks from a crime victim and victims’ support advocate, a District Attorney and the State Director of Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma. Others in attendance included fellow advocates, supporters, and victims of crime. The following statements from the podium were shared throughout the press conference:
Angela Wiles, founder of Always Date Without Violence, said: “On June 10, 2013, my daughter was murdered in our house. She was murdered by a 16-year old who was mad at her breaking up with him. Not only have we had to deal with the adult system, but unfortunately we also had to muddy through the juvenile system and we still deal with that system today. That is a system that we fight hard, and we will continue to fight hard, to change. Oklahoma victims suffer daily in the process of trying to obtain justice. We are given no rights, no options. Often spending birthdays, holidays, anniversaries in a courtroom looking at a perpetrator that has all of the rights. We are often told to sit in the second or third row, be quiet, just attend, be thankful that you are allowed in this room. That’s not okay. Oklahoma victims deserve better. And state bill 794 will give us that right. So I ask you to vote yes on 794 in November of 2018 and give the rights back to the victims and victims families.”
DA Jason Hicks, District 6, said: “Part of my role as a district attorney, I believe, is to advocate causes that I believe in. Causes that I think are going to make our system better. And I firmly believe that this cause, this case, this state question will make our system better especially for victims in the state of Oklahoma. As we look at the state question and we talk about victims, there are two groups of people that we see in general in our offices. Those are going to be our children and those are going to be the elderly. Why? Because they are some of the most vulnerable people in the entire state and I don’t think it’s fair for them to have to show up in the courtroom, day in and day out, and have to sit there without the judge or prosecutor giving any mind or any respect to what they want. And this question will address that. I support State Question 794, and I’m going to be asking people to vote in favor of this to allow victims the constitutional guarantee to go in the courtroom and let their voice be heard.”
Kim Moyer, State Director of Marsy’s Law, said: “Marsy’s Law extends those rights to immediate family members, and that’s a key element to what we’re trying to do. I think it’s really important to educate everybody across the state about what Marsy’s Law can do to help and why it’s important that everybody goes to the ballot box and vote for State Question 794 in November. We have 14 months – every day to talk with family members, to talk to law enforcement, to work with District Attorneys, to work with police departments everywhere across the state. To educate the community about what your constitution can do for you and how we need to make the constitution work better for crime victims, and that’s what Marsy’s Law will do. We will work diligently, county by county, across the state. Talking with rural communities, urban communities, suburban – because crime impacts in different ways across the state.”
Additional resources, including an endorsement flyer, logo, state director bio, photos from the press conference and previous State Question 794 announcements can be found here.
Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma passed through the full legislative process in April, unanimously approved by a final House vote of 88-0, and now prepares for a final statewide vote of the people – as State Question 794 – on the next general election ballot in 2018. The growing coalition of support for SQ 794 includes a wide range of victims of crime and their families, law enforcement, advocates and general supporters of the cause for equal rights for crime victims.
Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma can be found online at www.marsyslaw4ok.com and on Facebook and Twitter by searching @MarsysLawforOK, #ML4OK and #Yeson794.