Issue 1: Marsy's Law

Issue 1: Marsy's Law

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After careful deliberation, the Libertarian Party of Ohio has taken a position in opposition to State Issue 1.

The LPO supports the rights of Ohioans, including crime victims, and believes the criminal justice system must remain fair and open, but does not believe that State Issue 1 is the way to achieve either goal.

 

An out-of-state organization is seeking to amend Ohio's constitution, calling it a Victims Bill of Rights. While the name sounds good, the measure would be more extensive and more detailed than any other right currently enumerated in the state Bill of Rights. Unintended consequences are sure to abound, including increased costs and potential delays in the criminal justice system.

Ohio voters have frequently altered the Ohio Constitution with mixed results. The truth is, few Ohioans have read the Ohio Constitution since required to do so in high school. Did you know that there already laws on the books protecting victims' rights?

In addition to the Ohio Constitution's current victim rights amendment, protections already exist in Ohio law (Chapter 2930) for Ohio victims of crime, including the right to be notified of the arrest, criminal proceedings, conviction and/or acquittal, incarceration and the release date of the offender. Rather than amending the state constitution, the best way to enhance these rights or to ensure their uniform enforcement is through a deliberative legislative process.

We also find the current Issue 1 advocates to be duplicitous.  Attorney General, Mike DeWine, serves as Co-Chair for Issue 1 and has been a victims’ rights advocate for 40 years. He knows better than most that the current Issue 1 is redundant. If this is more than an attempt to pad his gubernatorial resume, it would have been done during DeWine's tenure as County Prosecutor (1976), Lt. Gov.(1991), or Attorney General (2011).

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  • commented 2017-10-13 21:29:05 -0400
    The Current Ohio Constitution:

    “I.10a Rights of victims of crime
    Victims of criminal offenses shall be accorded fairness, dignity, and respect in the criminal justice process, and, as the general assembly shall define and provide by law, shall be accorded rights to reasonable and appropriate notice, information, access, and protection and to a meaningful role in the criminal justice process. This section does not confer upon any person a right to appeal or modify any decision in a criminal proceeding, does not abridge any other right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States or this constitution, and does not create any cause of action for compensation or damages against the state, any political subdivision of the state, any officer, employee, or agent of the state or of any political subdivision, or any officer of the court.

    (Adopted November 8, 1994)"