AG Mike DeWine to Co-Chair State Issue 1

Columbus – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine will serve as a co-chair for Yes on State Issue 1, the victims’ rights constitutional amendment known as Marsy’s Law, the campaign announced today.

Appearing at a Statehouse news conference, Attorney General DeWine announced his support for State Issue 1 and urged voters to adopt the constitutional amendment this November.

“Supporting victims of crime is something that we all can agree on because it is about doing the right thing for our fellow citizens who have been victims of crime,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. “I’m pleased to add my name to those supporting Issue 1 and urge Ohioans to vote yes on Issue 1.”

State Issue 1 is also supported by dozens of law-enforcement officials from every corner of the Buckeye State. Among the more than 275 elected officials supporting the Ohio crime victims’ bill of rights are 20 county sheriffs, 15 police chiefs, and 10 county prosecutors.

“We are proud to have the support of Attorney General DeWine, a true champion for crime victims throughout his career,” said Cathy Harper Lee, executive director of the Ohio Crime Victims Justice Center and coalition director for the Yes on State Issue 1 campaign. “Mike DeWine sees every day the impact that crime has on Ohioans, and knows that the time has come to put equal enforceable rights for crime victims in Ohio’s Constitution.”

If voters approve the proposal this fall, State Issue 1 would grant a series of constitutional protections to crime victims and their immediate families for the first time in Ohio’s history.

Under the amendment, crime victims would have the right to notification of all proceedings as well as be guaranteed the right to be heard at every step of the process. Victims would also have the right to have input on all plea deals for offenders as well as the right to restitution resulting from the financial impact of the crime.

The effort to place State Issue 1 in the state constitution comes after similar ballot issues were approved in California, Illinois, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The Marsy’s Law movement began in 1983, when a young woman named Marsy Nicholas was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend. Only a week after her murder, Marsy’s mother and brother, Henry T. Nicholas, walked into a grocery store where they saw the accused murderer. The family, who had just come from a visit to Marsy’s grave, had no idea the accused murderer had been released on bail.