Ohio FOP Endorses State Issue 1

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed State Issue 1, the equal rights for crime victims constitutional amendment known as Marsy’s Law.

Ohio’s largest law-enforcement union joins the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association, 13 county prosecutors, 22 individual county sheriffs and Attorney General Mike DeWine in supporting State Issue 1.

"Our officers work everyday to keep the streets safe and help crime victims every chance we get," said Ohio FOP President Jay McDonald. "Crime victims should have equal rights to those of the criminals who prey on them, and it’s time Ohioans made that clear by voting to put it in the state constitution."

Trevor Vessels, the state director for Marsy’s Law for Ohio, said he welcomes the support of the more than 25,000 Ohio FOP members who serve and protect Ohio’s communities. "This endorsement of State Issue 1 by the FOP is truly special," said Vessels. "These courageous men and women do everything they can to protect the lives of crime victims each day on our streets. Their recognition that crime victims deserve equal rights is a powerful statement."

If voters approve the proposal bringing equal rights to crime victims 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.