LAWMAKERS AND ADVOCATES ANNOUNCE SUPPORT FOR “MARSY’S LAW FOR MAINE”
The proposal will grant crime victims in Maine constitutional rights and protections equal to those of the accused and convicted
AUGUSTA, MAINE – A bipartisan group of Maine lawmakers, crime victims and advocates announced their support Tuesday for Marsy’s Law for Maine (L.D. 1168), a Victims’ Bill of Rights that will grant crime victims in Maine constitutional rights and protections equal to those of the accused and convicted of crimes against them. Crime victims in Maine currently have no constitutional rights or protections.
“Marsy’s Law for Maine will finally afford crime victims in our state guaranteed rights and protections that are equal to the those of the accused and convicted; rights that will be recognized at the highest levels,” said Maine Senate President Mike Thibodeau. “It is a common-sense proposal for crime victims and their families in Maine, who as the individuals most impacted by the crime, deserve the right to be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect throughout the legal process.”
House Majority Leader Erin Herbig, (D-Belfast), highlighted the bipartisan support Marsy’s Law for Maine has in both legislative chambers, and outlined the constitutional rights Marsy’s Law for Maine will afford crime victims. Those rights include the right to be treated with courtesy, fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy throughout criminal justice proceedings; receive information about their rights and the services available to them; receive timely notification of proceedings and other major developments in their case; receive timely notification of changes to the offender’s custodial status; and be present at court proceedings. With Marsy’s Law for Maine, crime victims will also have the right to provide input to the prosecutor before a plea agreement is finalized, be heard at plea or sentencing proceedings or any process that may result in the offender’s release, and they will have the right to restitution.
“On behalf of crime victims across Maine, Thank You, Senate President Thibodeau and all the co-sponsors of Marsy’s Law for Maine for your efforts to bring a long-awaited sense of justice to crime victims in our state,” said Arthur Jette, Maine Chapter Leader for Parents of Murdered Children. “Marsy’s Law for Maine is a needed remedy for crime victims who find it patently unjust that accused and convicted criminals have guaranteed, constitutional rights and protections that we, the innocent victims, do not.”
Dozens of supporters of Marsy’s Law for Maine attended the announcement at the State House in Augusta Tuesday. To date, more than 500 Mainers have signed the online petition in support of the effort. Tuesday’s event took place during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, an annual observance organized by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime to raise awareness of victims’ rights in communities throughout the country.
For more information on Marsy’s Law for Maine, please visit https://marsyslaw.us/marsys-law-state-efforts/maine/, and follow @ Marsy’sLawForME on Facebook and Twitter … Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarsysLawForME/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/marsyslawforme
About Marsy’s Law for Maine
Marsy’s Law for Maine, L.D. 1168, seeks to ensure that victims of crime in Maine have constitutionally enforced and guaranteed rights and protections that are equal to those afforded to those accused and convicted. It is named after Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas, a 21-year old college student who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. If approved by two-thirds majorities in both chambers of the Maine State Legislature, Marsy’s Law for Maine will appear on the November ballot for Maine voters to decide.