Another day, another big endorsement for the supporters of Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) Proposal 96, commonly known as Marsy’s Law, which would establish a Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights in the Florida Constitution.
The Florida Smart Justice Alliance today endorsed the proposal, lending support from their members, which include a number of powerful and influential business groups, including the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Florida (AIF), to non-profit organizations that focus on prison ministry and other charitable work.
“Marsy’s Law provides common sense protections for crime victims, ensuring they have the right to be heard, the right to be present, and the right to be informed,” said Barney Bishop, CEO of the Florida Smart Justice Alliance. “Many times, victims fall through the cracks of the criminal justice system and, with Marsy’s Law, we have an easy way to remedy that. All that victims are asking is to be treated with the same dignity and respect afforded to those accused of the crimes that have harmed them. By placing Marsy’s Law on the 2018 ballot, voters will have the opportunity to decide if victims should be granted those rights.”
According to a press release from the group, six other states have enacted Marsy’s Law, including California, Illinois, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Montana. The proposal has also garnered endorsements from the Florida Sheriff’s Association, 24 individual county sheriffs, Governor Rick Scott, former governor Jeb Bush, and House Speaker Richard Corcoran.
According to the release, polling conducted in October showed there is strong interest among Florida voters to enact Marsy’s Law in the Sunshine State. Eighty-seven percent of likely Florida voters believe victims should have, at the very least, the same protections in the state constitution as those given to those accused of committing crimes. When read specific ballot language and informed of the background behind Marsy’s Law, 85 percent of those surveyed said they would vote for a constitutional amendment that guarantees victims’ rights in the Florida Constitution.
Proposal 96 passed the CRC by a vote of 30-3. Pending the outcome of a final vote, Marsy’s Law for Florida will head to the voters on the 2018 General Election ballot as a constitutional amendment. To become law, the proposal must be approved by 60 percent of voters.