Marsy’s Law is a national movement that aims to ensure victims of crime have meaningful and enforceable constitutional rights in the criminal justice system. Marsy’s Law was inspired by Marsalee (Marsy) Nicholas, a University of California Santa Barbara student, who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. A week after Marsy was murdered, Marsy’s family walked into a grocery store after visiting her grave and was confronted by her killer. The family was never notified that her killer had been released.
Marsy’s Law proposes a series of protections for victims of crime to ensure they are informed of their rights, notified of proceedings and developments in their case, are heard in court, have input into the process, and are treated with the respect and dignity throughout the criminal or delinquency proceeding Today, some version of Marsy’s Law is in effect in 10 states and efforts are underway to follow suit in several others.
Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly voted to pass Marsy’s Law on Nov. 6, 2018, in the form of a ballot initiative numbered State Question 794. As a result, today the Oklahoma Constitution guarantees greater protections for victims, survivors, and their families or guardians.