Jodi Lopresto, an active member and advocate for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers Oklahoma (MADD), recently shared why she supports State Question 794.
Jodi was severely injured in car crash by a drunken driver who had multiple prior DUIs and drug offenses. While Jodi was fighting for her life in the hospital, the woman who hit her recovered quickly from minor injuries and fled the state before her arraignment.
We appreciate our supporters throughout Oklahoma who recently gathered to explain why they support State Question 794. Soon we will release their videos, but here is a behind-the-scenes look.
Kelly Vierling is an Oklahoman touched by crime, who believes that if the reforms proposed in State Question 794 would have been in place, her experience with the criminal justice system would have been very different. When her son was shot and killed at a party, she learned there wasn’t the right support system for victims and their families.
For Immediate Release
August 2, 2018
Media Contact: Alex Weintz; Alex@FKGConsulting.com or (405) 518-5135
Victims' Rights Advocates Visit Lawton
The campaign to Support State Question 794 Hosted a Meet and Greet at Viridian Coffee
We’ve been busy connecting with supporters across Oklahoma who are committed to expanding crime victims’ rights through passage of State Question 794. We recently joined with members of the faith community and local leaders from Tulsa to Lawton, and it’s clear that energy for this movement remains strong.
Victory depends on our ability to connect with people like you who care deeply about this cause. Together, we can prevent further victimization of Oklahomans who have been hurt by crime or lost loved ones to violent acts. We still have many people to reach between now and November. If you are a member of a community organization that would like to know more about SQ 794, we would welcome the opportunity to talk with your group. Please email us at email@example.com or sign up to volunteer.
The effort to pass State Question 794 is a people-powered movement. We are relying on a grassroots network that includes victims of crime and their families, victim advocates, law enforcement personnel, elected officials, and many others. All of us are united by our belief that crime victims deserve Constitutionally protected rights as outlined in Marsy’s Law.
Getting the word out is an all-hands-on-deck effort, but even little things can go a long way towards educating our fellow Oklahomans about the need to support SQ 794. Kelly Vierling, whose son was shot and killed at a party, is showing her support by putting a Marsy’s Law sign up in her yard. Angie Cantrell, who also lost her son to violent crime, is taking signs and other materials down to her hometown of Sulphur. And, of course, we are lucky to have great interns and volunteers hard at work to package up and deliver materials across the state.
If you believe that our criminal justice system must be amended to give victims of crime like Kelly and Angie more rights and more support, then we encourage you to sign up as a volunteer and get involved. Something as simple as putting a bumper sticker on your car, displaying a placard in your business window, or putting out a yard sign can send a powerful message to your friends and family. Enough small acts in support of victims’ rights will eventually add up to a big victory: the passage of State Question 794 in November.
This week we had the opportunity to speak with Tulsa voters at a town hall meeting held by City Councilor Connie Dodson about how SQ 794 would improve the rights of crime victims. Attendees expressed their support at the meeting, which was followed by a recent endorsement by the Tulsa City Council to unanimously support SQ 794.
Kim Moyer, Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma State Director, noted to members in the audience that "someone accused of a crime receives Miranda Rights, but victims and their families aren’t even consistently notified of hearings.”
Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma would amend the Oklahoma Constitution to guarantee certain rights for victims, survivors, and their families or guardians. If 794 passes, there will be a requirement to notify victims and families that they have Constitutionally protected rights. They will be notified at each important stage of the criminal justice process: arrest, bonding, trial, and sentencing. They would also be notified of the defendant’s release or escape from custody, and be consulted with before a decision is made concerning a plea agreement, deferred prosecution agreement or diversion agreement.
"We believe that victims deserve to have constitutional protections, just as those who are accused and convicted,” she added.
You can view the full list of proposed victims’ rights and pledge your support here.
In honor of Independence Day, we remember the sacrifice many made to ensure the United States became an independent nation. This week, we showed our appreciation to law enforcement community for their ongoing commitment to protect and serve our country.
While many are enjoying parades, fireworks, barbecues, and family gatherings this week, please remember those who are keeping us safe.
In addition to the support of the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police, Oklahoma Fraternal Order of Police and Oklahoma Sheriffs Association, 41 law enforcement officials have endorsed State Question 794 because it levels the playing field for crime victims without impacting the rights of the accused. A vote yes on SQ 794 is a vote for victims because it would elevate existing statutes to give important new rights to people affected by crime.
This week we took a moment to honor a few of our supporters. Pictured below are Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton and Major Coy Jenkins and Canadian County Sheriff Chris West and his staff.
The Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma team has been hard at work recruiting support across the state to expand victims’ rights. We have recently met with elected officials, district attorney staff, crime victim advocates, non-profit leaders and community activists to discuss SQ 794. We joined Juneteenth celebrations, potluck dinners and recently spoke at the Oklahoma State Trooper Association state meeting and to faith leaders at the Oklahoma Conference of Churches.
We appreciate the strong sense of community in Oklahoma, and are grateful to those who remain committed to helping people who have suffered the most. Your continued support will ensure that crime victims and their families are provided permanent, enforceable rights.
Here are a few recent photos from our community events. If you are interested in joining as a volunteer, please consider signing up!