It is well known that people accused or convicted of crimes have many rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. I recently learned that the majority of states also make sure their constitutions protect crime victims, but that Maine is one of a handful of states that does not. This must change. That is why I support Marsy’s Law for Maine, a bill in the Legislature that will make sure crime victims are treated with dignity, fairness and respect.
Maine is a relatively low-crime state, but no one is immune. Each of us needs to know we have constitutional rights we can count on if we ever become a victim of a crime.
Marsy’s Law for Maine will make sure crime victims have the right to be notified when the perpetrator is released from jail, to be notified of and to be present at legal proceedings, and to be heard before the court. It also will make sure courts consider the safety of crime victims and their families. As constitutional rights, victims will have recourse if their rights are neglected. These rights are common sense and, in my opinion, long overdue.
I sincerely hope members of the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee will help move Marsy’s Law for Maine forward by supporting L.D. 1168 at their work session on Feb. 12. And I hope the full Legislature will send this constitutional amendment to Maine voters for our approval.
Crime victims in our state must not be left behind.
Janis B. Price