[New Times Broward-Palm Beach] So-Called "Rights of Crime Victims" Amendment Would Favor Corporations and Limit Rights of the Accused

It's time to start cramming: Twelve proposed amendments are being presented to Florida voters this November. Of the twelve, the ACLU of Florida says that Amendment 6 is the "second most important amendment" to vote on this year behind Amendment 4, which would allow for the restoration of felons' voting rights once they've served their time. Dubbed the “Rights of Crime Victims,” Amendment 6 has garnered strong opposition from local and statewide organizations like the Broward County League of Women’s Voters and ACLU of Florida.

Amendment 6 is broken down into three core provisions. The first, Marsy’s Law, or the "Rights of Crime Victims" provision, is based on the California Victims Bill Act of 2008, which was created by the Nicholas family following the murder of Marsalee Nicholas. It focuses on a victim's right to due process, the right to be heard at public trial, the right to safety if a defendant gets granted bail, and the right to "be reasonably protected from the accused."

The proposed amendment would also raise the mandatory retirement age for judges from 70 to 75. Lastly, it would require judges to decide if a state agency correctly interpreted the law. Currently left up to state agencies who have been charged with breaking the law, this provision would switch responsibility to the judge assigned to the case.

Though these issues have little to do with one another, a vote in favor or opposition represents a yes or no on all three. This bundling is one of the factors that makes Amendment 6 so controversial. A Leon County judge threw out the Amendment in August, calling it "misleading," but the Supreme Court reinstated it on appeal.

(Read the full article via the New Times Broward-Palm Beach here: https://www.browardpalmbeach.com/news/election-2018-activists-say-rights-of-crime-victims-amendment-would-favor-corporations-limit-rights-of-the-accused-9934241)

Ayurella Horn-Muller