On November 6, 2018, the voters of Oklahoma overwhelmingly voted to pass Marsy’s Law.
With its passage, Marsy’s Law established a variety of constitutional protections for victims, including notice of the accused’s release and the right to be heard during any judicial proceeding.
Given the shoddy care that many victims of crimes in Oklahoma, especially Oklahoma City, receive during the judicial process, Marsy’s Law is a much-needed addition to the state constitution. Now, victims and their families can be heard by the courts and be notified of significant events that may arise during the investigation, trial, and incarceration.
At Jacqui Ford Law, we know that every case is unique, and some people are falsely accused. But we always want to advocate for justice, which is why it is also important to us that victims are informed of their rights and understand new laws as they apply. Read on to learn more about Marsy’s Law.
What Does Marsy’s Law Do for Oklahoma Victims?
Due to the passing of Marsy’s Law, Oklahoma victims now have the following rights:
- Fair and respectful treatment of a victim’s safety and privacy
- Timely notice of and the right to be present at all court proceedings
- Right to be heard during plea, release, sentencing, parole, and other proceedings
- To be afforded reasonable protection
- Notice of release or escape
- Right to refuse any interview by the accused, unless subpoenaed
- Right to full and timely restitution
- Prompt resolution of the case
- Right to confer with the attorney for the state
- To be informed about victim’s rights
- Legal remedy if any of these rights have been violated
How Did This Oklahoma Law Become a National Movement?
In 1983, UC Santa Barbara student Marsalee Nicholas was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend.
Unbeknownst to her family, the killer was released from custody within a few days of her murder. Less than a week after the killing, Marsy’s family encountered her ex-boyfriend in a grocery store following a visit to her gravesite.
In 2008, the state of California passed Marsy’s Law which provided essential notifications, protection, and the right to restitution to victims and their families. This became a major step in formalizing victims’ rights and started a national Marsy’s Law movement.
In the intervening years, 12 states including Oklahoma have passed their versions of Marsy’s Law.
The ultimate goal of the Marsy’s Law movement is to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution enshrining victims’ rights.
What Resources Are There for Oklahoma City Victims?
Under the current Oklahoma City district attorney, there has been little attention paid to the many victims of domestic violence.
Luckily, one program known as Palomar has established a Family Justice Center that aids domestic violence victims by housing 14 key public and private agencies in a single location.
Palomar includes the Oklahoma City Police Department, the Oklahoma City Health Department, Oklahoma DHS, YWCA and many others.
Prior to the introduction of Palomar, victims of domestic violence in Oklahoma City had to travel hours by car or public transit to various agencies. Now you can find all of the help you need in a single office building.
You may find Palomar at 1140 North Hudson Ave. No appointments are necessary, and walk-ins are welcome. You may contact Palomar by phone at 405-552-1010 or by text at 405-355-3556. You may email Palomar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Jacqui Ford for Representation in Oklahoma
Jacqui Ford is an award-winning criminal defense attorney that has been helping Oklahoma City families deal with the consequences of violence and criminal activity for decades. If you need representation, Jacqui Ford Law can help.
Jacqui is also currently running for the office of Oklahoma City District Attorney, an office that she intends to hold with a passion for justice, community building, and helping local families.
If you would like to learn more, please visit Jacqui Ford Law today.