Historic vote enshrines new, specific crime victims’ rights in state constitution
Supporters of Amendment 6/Marsy’s Law for Florida, including crime victims, victim advocates and elected officials, cheered at an Election Night party in Ft. Lauderdale as Amendment 6 passed by more than 60 percent of Florida voters. With the passage of Amendment 6/Marsy’s Law for Florida, clear, enforceable crime victims’ rights and protections will be placed in the Florida Constitution. This new, specific set of rights will replace a 30-year-old, single sentence pertaining to crime victims’ rights that previously existed in the state constitution.
“The voters of the Sunshine State stood up strong for crime victims today, making a bold statement that the time is now for equal rights for crime victims in Florida’s Constitution,” said Greg Ungru, Marsy’s Law for Florida State Director. “Today was a true bipartisan victory. It was not about Republicans or Democrats, but about men and women who have been victims of crime being treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.
“We also want to thank all Florida voters for taking this courageous step forward, creating a new and better future for anyone who has been a victim of crime in our state. To all the supporters and volunteers for Marsy’s Law for Florida who gave their time, resources and passion to this cause, we are forever grateful. Today is a day of victory for crime victims, and Florida is a better and more just place because of it,” added Ungru.
Amendment 6/Marsy’s Law for Florida supporters State Senator Lauren Book and State Senate Majority Leader Wilton Simpson shared their thoughts on the victory.
“I send my heartfelt gratitude to the voters of this great state,” said Senator Book. “Floridians have spoken loudly that the victims and survivors deserve the same rights as those who are accused or convicted of a crime. With tonight’s vote, crime victims now have guaranteed protections in our state’s most powerful legal document that will last in perpetuity.”
“This is a great victory for the State of Florida. By approving Amendment 6, we have guaranteed that victims will have the constitutional right to be heard, to be informed, and to be notified on the cases they are party to,” said Senator Simpson. “Amendment 6 was publicly endorsed by hundreds of elected officials, community organizations and law enforcement officers in one of the few issues considered that enjoyed true bipartisan support. I’m thankful I was able to be a part of ensuring victims have their voices heard by the criminal justice system.”
Some of the basic, commonsense rights Florida crime victims will now be entitled to include:
- The right to have standing in court
- The right to be present at all proceedings involving the case
- The right to reasonable and timely notice of proceedings
- The right to be heard in any proceeding during which a right of the victim is implicated including release, plea, sentencing, disposition, parole, revocation, expungement or pardon
- The right to timely notice of any release, escape or death of the accused, if the accused is in custody or on supervision at the time of death
- The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay
- The right to timely information about the outcome of the case
For more information on Amendment 6/Marsy’s Law for Florida, visit marsyslawforfl.com.