North Carolina Voters Pass Victim Right Amendment

Yesterday, North Carolina voters passed an amendment to the state Constitution that enhances protections for victims of violent crime.  Known as Marsy’s Law, similar amendments have already been adopted in a number of different jurisdictions. In voting yesterday, voters in six states approved similar amendments to their state constitutions.

As reported by Lynn Bonner of the Raleigh News and Observer, Marsy’s Law, which would add more rights for crime victims to the constitution, was buttressed by television and digital ad campaigns. Henry Nicholas III, a billionaire entrepreneur from California, led the campaign and was spending millions to get such laws passed across the country, the Charlotte Observer reported. The laws are named after Nicholas’ sister, who was killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983.

The amendments strengthen and add upon a number of statutory protections that already protect crime victims.  These include a victims’ compensation fund which provides emergency financial assistance to victims of violent crime.  In North Carolina, the amendment was opposed by a number of interest groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union.