First Lady Ann LePage has endorsed Marsy’s Law for Maine, a proposed amendment to Maine’s Constitution that will give crime victims equal rights to those accused or convicted of the crimes against them. Mrs. LePage is serving as state chairperson of the effort.
“Maine crime victims deserve the common-sense equal rights, protections and legal standing Marsy’s Law for Maine will afford them, and they deserve a voice in the criminal justice system,” said Mrs. LePage. “I am proud to support this bipartisan effort that will give crime victims guaranteed, enforceable rights they can count on, and bring Maine into the fold with the majority of states that already afford constitutional rights to crime victims.”
“Mrs. LePage’s support of Marsy’s Law for Maine is instrumental in raising awareness of the need for equal rights for crime victims in our state," said Marsy’s Law for Maine State Director Chris Quint. "Her support is incredibly meaningful to the community leaders, law enforcement leaders, and faith leaders who stand behind Marsy’s Law for Maine, and especially for the crime victims, their advocates, and thousands of supporters across Maine who are working to pass this important bill.”
Among the constitutional rights Marsy’s Law for Maine will afford crime victims are the right to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect throughout the criminal justice process, to be notified in a timely manner if the accused is released from custody or has escaped, to be notified of and present at public proceedings, and to be heard at certain proceedings. Crime victims will also have the right to restitution, to proceedings free from unreasonable delay and a prompt conclusion of the case, and to be informed of their constitutional rights. Marsy’s Law for Maine also includes a clause on enforceability, so that if a victim of crime feels any of their rights have been violated, they will have standing to petition the judge for a remedy.
Marsy’s Law for Maine is named after Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas, a 21-year old college student who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. If approved by two-thirds majorities in both chambers of the Maine State Legislature, Marsy’s Law for Maine will appear on the November 2018 ballot for Maine voters to decide.