The story behind our latest TV ad featuring the father of a murder victim
You may have noticed our newest TV ad featuring former Oklahoma State Trooper Ben Crockett, whose son Jacob was brutally attacked and murdered in 2014. Crockett describes the difficulty he and his family had getting information during the criminal justice process. “All we wanted was answers,” he says. “But we had little say-so in what was going on. State Question 794 is like water in the desert for crime victims.”
Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma State Director Kim Moyer said the frustration felt by the Crockett family is common among victims. “When a family loses a loved one to violent crime, they are at their most vulnerable,” said Moyer. “Unfortunately, the criminal justice system can pour salt in their wounds by cutting them out of the justice process and leaving them without any resources or information. Our goal is to fix that. State Question 794 will ensure these families have their voices heard and are protected by Constitutionally elevated rights, just like accused criminals.” Ben and his wife Ky understand first-hand how difficult the criminal justice system can be for family members. They support SQ 794 because it adds Constitutional protections to ensure victims and families aren’t ignored, voiceless and lost in the process. The measure has been endorsed by more than 20 Oklahoma district attorneys; law enforcement groups like the Fraternal Order of Police; victims’ advocacy organizations, including the YWCA and Mothers Against Drunk Driving; the Oklahoma Faith Leaders and the Oklahoma Conference of Churches; and has received bipartisan support from Republican and Democratic elected officials from across the state. Click here for a complete list of endorsements. Some of the constitutional-level rights guaranteed to victims and their families by State Question 794 include:
The right to have standing in court
The right to present at all proceedings involving the case
The right to reasonable and timely notice of proceedings
The right to be heard in any proceeding during which a right of the victim is implicated including release, plea, sentencing, disposition, parole, revocation, expungement or pardon
The right to timely notice of any release, escape or death of the accused, if the accused is in custody or on supervision at the time of death
The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay
The right to timely information about the outcome of the case
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Every day, Oklahomans suffer at the hands of criminals. Then they suffer again – as victims, left alone to navigate a complex judicial system and an unfamiliar court process without the same Constitutional and legal protections that even criminals are afforded. Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma is working to pass State Question 794 to secure permanent, enforceable rights for victims.