Marsy's Law is a national level campaign to create
enforceable constitutional rights for victims of crime in state constitutions around the country,
and to ultimately pursue a similar amendment to the United States Constitution.
San Bernardino County District Attorney
The National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) has
named San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos as president of the organization,
whose membership includes thousands of district attorneys from around the country. Formed in
1950, the NDAA regularly meets with the Department of Justice, members of Congress and
other national associations to represent the views of prosecutors with respect to federal and
national policies and programs that affect law enforcement and prosecution.
Ramos, a long-time supporter of victims’ rights and Marsy’s Law, reaffirmed his support of
Marsy’s Law — stating that partnering with families and victims of crime through Marsy’s Law in
California has been a positive change in the state that should be embraced nationwide.
Marsy’s Law For All congratulates Mike Ramos on his election as National District Attorneys
Association president and we look forward to working together towards our common goal of
bringing Marsy’s Law to victims across the nation.
Catch a brief insight
into Mr. Ramos' passion for victims' rights in the video below.
Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins: Marsy’s Law for Illinois State Director
Q & A With a Leader for Victims'
With Jennifer Bishop-
you get involved in Crime Victims' Rights?
When my beloved younger sister
Nancy, her husband Richard, and their unborn child were brutally murdered in 1990, it was the
worst thing that had ever happened to me in my life - worse than anyone who has not been
through it could ever understand. My family's lives - my life - were changed forever. Everything
changed - how I viewed the world and other people, what I knew was really important.
The process of investigating the crime and finally discovering the identity of the offender was a
nightmare in some ways even worse than the crime because of its protracted nature. It took
almost two years to come to trial. The retraumatization was constant. The trial itself took two
weeks. None of us could focus on anything else in our lives all that time. Finally the end came
and the jury quickly came back with three Guilty verdicts. The day before the sentencing hearing
arrived, we got a phone call from the court - Don't come to the hearing - don't bother. The life
sentences are mandatory so we are not going to take time to do any victim impact
I had no idea at that time that the court violated our rights. I didn't even know that victims had
rights. I spent two decades after the crime trying to combat violence and raise a family. I married
a wonderful man - Bill Jenkins - whose son was also murdered. He introduced me to the victim
movement and I got involved in helping victims through several organizations.
No family should ever be denied the right to make an impact statement after the murder of their
loved ones, and now thanks to Marsy's Law, they will have a remedy if any court tries to do
again what was done to us.
Marsy’s Law made an impact since passing in Illinois?
Since passage of Marsy's Law in
Illinois we have worked to pass detailed implementation legislation into statute, reflecting the
new constitutional language. We have seen real interest from most members of the legal
community - prosecutors, judges, lawyers, law enforcement - to attend trainings being held
around the state by the Illinois Attorney General's office. Advocates from MADD (Mother's
Against Drunk Driving) and the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Illinois
Coalition Against Sexual Assault have reported that they have been able to fix problems with
their clients' cases that previously they would not have been able to fix. More privacy has been
protected. Notifications of post conviction proceedings that victims were previously not being
notified about are starting to happen.
What is most exciting is that the culture is starting to change in the criminal justice system.
Victims are not being marginalized as before, and are no longer seen as something to be
"controlled" rather than included. The passage of a constitutional amendment giving us standing
in our cases, able to file motions related to our rights, has already increased communication
between victims and prosecutors. Best of all, we have seen that the newer younger Assistant
States Attorneys are especially interested in learning about how these new procedures can help
them better do their job.
Most heartwrenchingly, I still receive phone calls from victims in tears thanking us for our work. I
know Marsy's Law has truly helped many thousands of people's lives at the worst times of crisis.
It will even be helping people long after anyone remembers a time when we did not have
protected rights in the criminal justice system. I feel privileged to be able to see this up close
and personal. I know this honors the memory of Marsy Nicholas and her wonderful family.
Read the full interview with Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins here.
Lauren Myers: Volunteer with Marsy’s Law for Montana
We have been out in the field doing public opinion
research of likely voters in advance of the voter-contact part of these campaigns. In addition to
giving us valuable information as to how to talk about Marsy’s Law with those who will vote on it,
it also affords us with a snapshot in time of how we’re doing with voters right now!
We have just released polling results in Montana and South Dakota — and, as are we going into
the final stages of the election season, we have big leads! In Montana, we are winning amongst
likely voters 70%-18% and in South Dakota, we are favored 75%-12%!
After getting an initial take from voters in both of these surveys — the outstanding numbers I just
gave you — we then highlighted those things we think strengthen the case for Marsy’s Law and
also highlighted the arguments of those who oppose our efforts put forward, then asked how
someone will vote. This helps to simulate the impact of a campaign, as voters gather
With additional information, our support in Montana is still up at 68% and in South Dakota, our
support is still at 74%!
These two surveys were conducted by polling firms that have a history and are respected in the
states in which they did the work. We surveyed 500 likely voters in each survey so the statistical
likelihood of errors is extremely small.
You can read more about the Montana Survey here, and the South Dakota survey here!
We’ll be releasing information on a North Dakota survey soon as well.
Marsy’s Law for Montana made huge strides this month which included: signing up new
volunteers, connecting with multiple victims’ rights and services organizations, promoting the
passage of Marsy’s Law at the Attorney General’s Crime Victim Forum and was supported in
local media by Montana Chief US Probation Officer Jimmy Patelis.
Additionally, former Federal Judge Paul Cassell presented to the County Attorney's an in-depth
explanation as to how Marsy’s Law is a toolkit that will help prosecutors. We look forward to
seeing the support and enthusiasm grow in all of our active states as we press on to November!