Ohio Law Enforcement Officials Unite Behind State Issue 1

Columbus – Dozens of sheriffs, police chiefs and county prosecutors across Ohio have endorsed State Issue 1, the equal rights for crime victims constitutional amendment known as Marsy’s Law.

The law-enforcement officials supporting State Issue 1 are part of a growing bipartisan coalition of more than 250 elected officials, faith leaders, community groups and victim rights advocates from every corner of the state.

“We appreciate the overwhelming support law enforcement has shown for State Issue 1,” said Trevor Vessels, Marsy’s Law for Ohio State Director. “These brave men and women protect the lives and rights of crime victims every day on our streets and in our courtrooms. Their recognition that crime victims deserve equal rights makes a powerful statement.”

Led by 20 county sheriffs and endorsed by the statewide Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association, a total of 52 law-enforcement officials support State Issue 1.

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.

Ohio law-enforcement officials endorsing State Issue 1 include:

20 Ohio Sheriffs

Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association

Allen County Matt Treglia

Athens County Rodney Smith

Belmont County David Lucas

Brown County Gordon Ellis

Clark County Deborah Burchette

Delaware County Russell Martin

Franklin County Dallas Baldwin

Jackson County Tedd Frazier

Lake County Daniel Dunlap

Licking County Randy Throp

Meigs County Keith Wood

Mercer County Jeff Gray

Miami County David Duchak

Muskingum Matt Lutz

Ottawa County Stephen Levorchick

Paulding County Jason Landers

Putnam County Brian Sieker

Sandusky County Christopher Hilton

Summit County Steve Barry

Washington County Larry Mincks

15 Local Police Chiefs

Anna Chief Scott Evans

Antwerp Chief George Clemens

Akron Chief James Nice

Barberton Chief Vince Morber

Botkins Chief Wayne Glass

Circleville Chief Shawn Baer

Fort Jennings Chief Michael Schleeter

Fremont Chief Dean Bliss

Jackson Center Chief Charles Wirick

Johnstown Chief Don Corbin

Marion Chief Bill Collins

Newark Chief Barry Connell

Perry Township Chief John Petrozzi

Pomeroy Chief Mark Proffitt

Reynoldsburg Chief Jim O’Neil

10 County Prosecutors

Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn

Brown County Prosecutor Zac Corbin

Darke County Prosecutor Kelly Ormsby

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters

Jackson County Prosecutor Justin Lovett

Licking County Prosecutor Bill Hayes

Meigs County Prosecutor James Stanley

Putnam County Prosecutor Gary Lammers

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh

Eight other law-enforcement officials:

New Albany Law Director Mitch Banchefsky

New Albany Police Department Sgt. Garrett Fernandez

Paulding County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Jonathan Dyson

Paulding County Lt. Sheriff Brian Hanenkratt

Sandusky County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Edward Hastings

Wapakoneta Safety Service Director Chad Scott