By Nikki Blankenship
Scioto County Candor
Voters across the state voted on state Issue 1 on Tuesday last November. State Issue 1 is the Equal Rights for Crime Victims amendment to the Ohio Constitution that has become known as Marsy’s Law.
Marsy’s Law was designed to offer victims of crimes the same rights as those who commit crimes. With the law now in effect, Attorney General Mike DeWine has taken an effort to ensure that victims of crime understand the rights granted under the new law.
“Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today released a new tool designed to help law enforcement agencies inform crime victims about their rights under the new Marsy’s Law,” DeWine’s office released Friday. “The palm-sized card was created by the Attorney General’s Office to be an accessible resource for law enforcement agencies and an easily understood tool for victims to help them understand their rights according to the new law.”
DeWine explained that officers can carry cards on-hand so that when they are out interaction with victims of crime, they can provide the cards, which also feature a section for writing down basic case information, such as the time and date of the incident.
Under Marsy’s Law, victims are guaranteed rights including:
- To be present and speak at all court proceedings
- To receive notice when an offender is released or escapes
- To offer input on plea deals
- To receive timely notification of all court proceedings involving a victim’s case
- To receive a prompt conclusion of the case without unreasonable delay
- To refuse to answer questions made by the accused or the accuser’s representative
- To receive money from the convicted for harm caused
- To have access to information about services available to crime victims
The law is named after Marsalee (Marsy) Nicholas who was killed by her ex-boyfriend. Marsy’s Law is backed by Nicholas’ brother Dr. Henry T. Nicholas, who first starting fighting for the law after not being notified that his sister’s killer was released on bail.
Information about Marsy’s Law and other services the Attorney General’s Office provides for victims of crime can be found on the Ohio Attorney General’s Crime Victim Services webpage.
Any law enforcement agency across the state can request the cards by contacting the Attorney General’s Office Crime Victims Section: 614-466-5610.