Statement Regarding the Passage of Victims of Crimes Bill (SB 1012/HB 697)
Marsy’s Law for Florida commends the Florida Legislature on the passage of SB 1012/HB 697 sponsored by Senator Danny Burgess and Representative Colleen Burton, which achieves two important goals for crime victims.
First, the bill will conform crime victims’ rights language currently in Florida statute to the amended language voters placed in the Florida Constitution in 2018.
This is a critical step forward to ensuring uniformity and accuracy of the information law enforcement agencies provide crime victims regarding their Marsy’s Law for Florida rights. It will also make very clear to all those involved in the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, state attorneys’ offices, and judges, what rights crime victims have and when they should be applied.
Second, the bill clarifies that crime victims have an absolute right to counsel. This aspect of the bill was particularly important to Senator Burgess who prosecuted as a JAG officer and experienced first-hand how important an attorney for the victim can be to both the victim and the criminal justice process.
Our deepest appreciation to Senator Burgess and Representative Burton for championing this effort and for their commitment to guaranteeing all Florida crime victims know their rights and can invoke them as the Florida Constitution intended.