Backers of a November constitutional amendment designed to expand crime-victims’ rights said Monday they have requested records from prosecutors across the state about how the amendment is being carried out.
The group Marsy’s Law for Florida, which led efforts to pass the amendment, said it has requested records from state attorneys in all judicial circuits. Among other things, Marsy’s Law for Florida is looking for documents about changes in policies and procedures in judicial circuits and information about victims’ privacy protections.
“The passage of Amendment 6 (the Marsy’s Law measure) was a pivotal moment for Florida crime victims and their advocates because it sent a strong signal that Floridians believed victims were entitled to rights equal to those provided the accused and convicted and they were entitled to have mechanisms in place to ensure they are receiving those rights and protections,” attorney Paul Hawkes, a former appellate judge who represents Marsy’s Law for Florida, said in a prepared statement.
“Our public records requests of state attorneys will provide us with valuable information about how they are implementing Marsy’s Law for Florida, specifically how they are notifying victims’ of their rights. Through this information-gathering process, we can work together to share best practices and ensure victims know about and can avail themselves of their rights.”
The amendment included a series of rights for crime victims, including the right to be notified of major developments in criminal cases and the right to be heard in legal proceedings. The proposal was part of a national movement that stems from the 1983 death of a California woman, Marsy Nicholas, who was stalked and killed by an ex-boyfriend. Marsy Nicholas’ brother, Henry, is the co-founder of Broadcom Corp. and has spearheaded the Marsy’s Law effort.