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Marsy’s Law: Expanding Rights for Victims of Crime


Posted December 16, 2018
4:33 pm


In November 2017, Ohio voters passed Marsy’s Law. Marsy’s Law gives Ohio’s crime victims specific constitutional rights in the criminal justice process. This amendment to the Ohio Constitution ensures that all crime victims know their rights including the right to enforce those rights if they are violated.

A victim is a person who the criminal act is done to or another person who might have been harmed by the criminal act. This means that a victim can also be the parents of the victim, children of the victim or another close relative who was harmed by the criminal act.

Marsy’s Law gives you, as a person who was a victim of a crime, the following rights[1]:

  1. The right to be informed, in writing, of Marsy’s Law;
  2. The right to assert these rights yourself, through a representative, or by asking the prosecuting attorney. If the relief is denied, you may appeal to your local district court of appeals;
  3. The right to be treated with fairness and respect for your safety, dignity and privacy throughout the criminal justice process;
  4. The right to reasonable and timely notice of all public proceedings and the right to be present at those proceedings;
  5. The right to speak in public proceedings involving the accused’s release, plea, sentencing, disposition or parole and any other hearing that involves your rights ;
  6. The right to confer with the prosecutor, upon request;
  7. The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay and a prompt conclusion of the case;
  8. The right to refuse an interview, deposition, or other discovery request by an accused, except as otherwise set forth in Ohio’s Constitution;
  9. The right to full and timely restitution from the offender for harm caused;
  10. The right to reasonable protection from the accused or any person acting on behalf of the accused (if you are being threatened by the accused or another acting on behalf of the accused, law enforcement, an advocate, or the prosecutor can provide information on available protection options);
  11. The right to request a Victim’s Representative, and
  12. The right to notice of the escape or release of the offender, upon request.

Law enforcement, the prosecutor and the court will be required to inform you of your rights.

Marsy’s Law does not make the victim a party to the case and does not impact the rights of the accused.

[1] Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center Marsy’s Law Summary at https://ocvjc.org/marsys-law/summary

This article was written by Victoria Zanoudakis and Alexandria Ruden and appeared in The Alert: Volume 34, Issue 2