Marsy’s Law seeks to amend state constitutions that do not currently offer equal rights to victims of crimes that are already afforded to the accused and convicted. Crime victims have no enumerated rights in either the U.S. Constitution or in 15 state constitutions – including North Carolina.
It seems like common sense that crime victims have at least the same rights as those who are accused and convicted, but amazingly that is not necessarily the case.
While North Carolina does have victims’ rights protections in its constitution, it is not always consistently applied from county to county and regionally. In a large, diversely populated state with 100 counties and as many local governments, that often means victims’
rights aren’t fully recognized. There is a need to amend the constitution to better ensure consistent enforcement of victims’ rights statewide.
Many victims believe that while we do have some protections listed in our state constitution, there is still room to do more. The goal is to ensure that victims receive the same, “co-equal” rights that are afforded to the accused and convicted.
That’s why we are embarking on a North Carolina campaign to protect the rights of victims. Since 2008, voters in five states have passed Marsy’s Law – including California, Illinois, North and South Dakota and Montana. Marsy’s Law campaigns are currently active in seven states beyond North Carolina including Nevada, Maine, Idaho, Oklahoma, Ohio, Kentucky, and Georgia.
These important state campaigns on behalf of victims across the nation offer a step in the right direction for those who have suffered and continue to feel the aftermath of crime. We can all agree that no rapist should have more rights than the victim and no murderer should be afforded more rights than the victim’s family.