Understanding and Utilizing Marsy's Law
Orange County Lawyer Magazine, Vol. 55, No. 11, November 2013
3 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2013
Date Written: 2013
This article describes and discusses California's Victims' Bill of Rights Act of 2008, commonly referred to as Marsy's Law. It grants crime victims seventeen enumerated rights throughout the criminal justice process. Attorneys have the ability to effectively represent victims under Marsy's Law, and victims likewise have the ability to hire attorneys or select their own advocates to stand up for them during the criminal process. Victims no longer are forced to sit by the phone and wait for a call from the police to discover that their assailant has been arrested and/or convicted or - even worse - to hear third or fourth hand that the defendant who victimized them has had his case dismissed or plea-bargained down. Victims have a constitutional right under Marsy's Law to be an integral part of the criminal justice system. November 2013 marks the 5th anniversary of the passage of Marsy's Law in California. It is a great step forward for crime victims, but there is still much to be accomplished in this area of the law.
Keywords: victim, victims' rights, Marsy's Law, criminal law, crime victim, California, constitutional amendment, victims' bill of rights act
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