By The Oklahoman Editorial Board
An amendment that would embed the rights of crime victims in the Oklahoma Constitution has easily cleared its first legislative hurdles. Senate Joint Resolution 46, which creates Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma, passed on a 43-2 vote.
The proposed amendment, which would have to be approved by Oklahoma voters, would add to the state constitution specific legal rights for crime victims. A similar measure, House Joint Resolution 1002, passed the Oklahoma House on a 90-5 vote.
The proposed amendment specifies that crime victims have a right to privacy and reasonable and timely notice of all proceedings. Victims would also be guaranteed the right to be present at all proceedings and the right to be heard at any proceeding impacting a victim’s rights. The government would be required to provide victims with reasonable protection, as well as notice of any release or escape involving the accused criminal.
Henry T. Nicholas, co-founder of Broadcom Corp., has pushed for adoption of such measures across the country since his sister, Marsy, was stalked and killed by an ex-boyfriend in 1983.
The proposal has drawn bipartisan support in our Legislature, as well as support from former Attorney General Mike Turpen, a Democrat, the Oklahoma District Attorneys Association, Oklahoma Fraternal Order of Police, Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, Oklahoma Women’s Coalition, and YWCA Oklahoma City.
This is a rare — but welcome — instance of bipartisanship generating real results in the Legislature.
Republished from The Oklahoman.