State Question 794 Launches Statewide Initiative
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 13, 2017
STATE QUESTION 794 LAUNCHES STATEWIDE INITIATIVE
Final constitutional amendment by vote of the people would enshrine crime victims’ rights in 2018
OKLAHOMA CITY – Today the campaign for State Question 794 officially launched in Oklahoma City. The initial kickoff event took place at 10 a.m. at the Park House Events Center at the Myriad Gardens. 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, local law enforcement, and the State Director of Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma. Others in attendance included fellow advocates, supporters, endorsers, and victims of crime. The following statements from the podium were shared throughout the press conference:
Lauren Layman, President of the Oklahoma Homicide Survivors Group, said, “As a surviving family member of a victim of crime, I understand the heart wrenching and confusing process of dealing with the aftermath of a tragedy. A lot of victims out there don’t know where to go. They don’t have resources. There just isn’t a lot of support to help them. SQ 794 would provide a support system that victims of crime simply do not have right now.”
Mark Nelson, Vice President of the Oklahoma Fraternal Order of Police, said, “We’re the first on the scene when a tragedy has happened. Unfortunately, we cannot prevent every evil act that will be perpetrated upon a victim. But what Marsy’s Law does is it address the imbalance and prevents victims from being victimized over and over again. There is one thing that makes this so great and easy to support, that is that it does not diminish the rights that are embedded in the foundation of our society, country, or state in being innocent until proven guilty. It simply levels the playing field.”
Chris West, Sheriff in Canadian County, said, “This is about balance. All too often it’s the perpetrators who have the rights, which amount to protections, and Marsy’s Law would give those rights and protections to the victims and to the victims’ families. It is my privilege to be here today and encourage the citizens of Oklahoma to maintain that Oklahoma standard which we are so well known for which is taking care of our own, and that means a yes vote for SQ 794.”
Kim Moyer, State Director of Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma, said, “The big question is, what do we do now? We have 14 months to talk to as many crime victims, community leaders, and people across the state to convince them we can do better. This is not an indictment of all the hard work that sheriffs and police chiefs and law enforcement are doing already. It is a movement to try and make things better. We know that it is a process, and this is the first step in creating a solid bedrock for crime victims’ rights by adding it to our state constitution. We could not have gotten this far without the support of several organizations, key leaders, and crime victims and survivors across the state. I can’t thank them enough.”
To coincide with the campaign launch for SQ 794, this evening the Skydance Bridge and the Crystal Bridge in Myriad Gardens will be lit purple.
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.
The campaign for SQ 794 will host consecutive launch events later in the afternoon, at 2 p.m., in Tulsa on September 13 and in Lawton, at 10 a.m., on September 14.
Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma can be found online at www.marsyslaw4ok.com and on Facebook and Twitter by searching @MarsysLawforOK, #ML4OK and #YESon794.