Crime Victims Celebrate Successful Legislative Push to Implement Marsy’s Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 20, 2019

Media Contact: Alex Weintz; alex@uppercasestrategies.com or (914) 282-3229

 

Crime Victims Celebrate Successful Legislative Push to Implement Marsy’s Law


OKLAHOMA CITY - Crime victims and their advocates today praised the Oklahoma Legislature for delivering final passage of House Bill 1102, which now heads to Governor Kevin Stitt for his signature. The bill updates state statutes to reflect the new Constitutional rights granted under Marsy’s Law, or State Question 794, passed by voters in 2018.

Marsy’s Law includes a new set of stronger Constitutional rights for victims of crime, granting them more information and input during the criminal justice process. HB 1102, by Rep. Mike Osburn and Sen. Julie Daniels, works to ensure these new rights are reflected in Oklahoma law and properly implemented. For instance, the bill clarifies a victim’s right to be notified of the release or escape of an accused perpetrator; it outlines the right of a victim, upon request, to confer with a district attorney; and it creates a requirement that law enforcement give victims written notification of all of their rights under Marsy’s Law.

Oklahoma victims who supported the passage of Marsy’s Law said HB 1102 represents another step forward for those who are harmed by criminal acts.

“Voters gave crime victims a big victory in 2018 when they passed Marsy’s Law,” said Sheri Farmer, founder of the Oklahoma Chapter of Parents of Murdered Children. “It was always up to lawmakers, however, to ensure those new rights were enforced and respected. Our elected officials rose to that challenge this year by passing HB 1102.”

Lauren Layman, president of the Oklahoma Homicide Survivors Support Group, agreed.

“HB 1102 is the next step in our long struggle to ensure every victim is treated fairly. My thanks go out to legislators for working on this important legislation that will ensure we properly implement Marsy’s Law.”

The bill also drew support from district attorneys and law enforcement personnel. Oklahoma District Attorneys Council President Brian Hermanson, who serves as a DA representing Kay and Noble counties, said HB 1102 and Marsy’s Law created a stronger and fairer criminal justice system.

“District Attorneys believe in justice,” said Hermanson. “That does not just mean prosecuting criminals. It means respecting victims, who are often dealing with enormously painful circumstances, and trying to bring them closure and healing.”

Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma State Director Kim Moyer said the bill’s passage set the stage for a cooperative effort to successfully implement new rights and protections for victims.

“This bill is an important step forward as we work to ensure that all victims of crime in Oklahoma are treated with dignity and respect throughout the criminal justice process,” said Moyer. “Now the real work begins, as judges, court clerks, prosecutors, public defenders, and law enforcement officers work to make sure that these new constitutional rights for victims are respected and adhered to in all cases going forward.”