Lawmakers Fail Crime Victims by Not Passing Marsy’s Law for Tennessee This Year
April 22, 2021 - In a close vote Wednesday, the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee failed to move Marsy’s Law for Tennessee (HJR0044) forward this session, disappointing Tennessee crime victims, their families, and victim advocates.
“I am deeply disappointed in today’s outcome during the National Crime Victims Rights Week. I will always stand strong to strengthen the rights for crime victims,” said said Marsy’s Law bill sponsor, Representative Patsy Hazlewood of Signal Mountain. “We will continue to pursue this worthy endeavor, so that victims of crimes have equal and enforceable rights to those of the convicted and accused.”
Adopting Marsy’s Law in Tennessee will provide victims with the ability to assert the critical rights to which they are promised including:
- The right to be treated with fairness for the victim's safety, dignity, and privacy;
- The right, upon request, to reasonable and timely notice of, and to be present at, all criminal public proceedings and all juvenile delinquency proceedings involving the accused;
- The right to be heard in any proceeding involving release, plea, sentencing, disposition, and parole, as well as any public proceeding when relevant during which a right of the victim is implicated;
- The right to be free from harassment, intimidation, and abuse throughout the criminal justice system, including reasonable protection from the accused or any person acting on behalf of the accused;
- The right, upon request, to reasonable notice of any release, transfer, or escape of the accused or convicted person;
- The right to full and timely restitution from the offender;
- The right to a speedy trial or disposition and a prompt and final conclusion of the case after the conviction or sentence;
- The right, upon request, to confer with the prosecution;
- The right to be fully informed of all rights afforded to crime victims.
For more information, visit marsyslawfortn.com.
Marsy’s Law is named after Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas of California who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Only one week after her death, Marsy’s mother and brother, Henry T. Nicholas, walked into a grocery store where they were confronted by the accused murderer. The family, who had just come from a visit to Marsy’s grave, was unaware that the accused had been released on bail.
In an effort to honor his sister, Dr. Nicholas has made it his mission to give victims and their families constitutional protections and equal rights. He formed Marsy’s Law for All in 2009, providing expertise and resources to victims’ rights organizations nationwide.