TULSA, Okla. - Quick facts:
- Marsy's Law was proposed to offer protections for the families crime victims in Oklahoma.
- Proponents believe current laws give defendants more rights than victims and their families.
- Opponents say the cost would be negligible for the state.
A campaign to help crime victims and their families through the criminal justice system and process kicked off Wednesday.
The protections, called Marsy's Law, will be on the 2018 fall statewide ballot as State Question 794.
Marsy Ann Nicholas was stalked and killed be her ex-boyfriend in California in 1983. Her parents pushed for victims’ rights laws after they encountered their daughter’s killer in a grocery store after he bailed out of jail. They said they had no idea he had been released from custody.
Proponents say the current legal systems give defendants more rights than victims and their families, and Marsy's Law would not take away any rights of the accused.
If passed, victims and their families would have the right to restitution, to be heard at any sentencing or plea hearings, to revive ample notice of a change in an offender's custodial status, to get timely developments of their case, to receive information about victim's services and to have the right to be treated with fairness and dignity throughout the entire criminal justice process.
More than 30 other states have enacted the law.
Proponents said the costs to the State of Oklahoma would be negligible, because the restitution comes from a fund offenders already pay into.
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