Members of the editorial and news staff of the USA Today Network were not involved in the creation of this content.

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On any given day any one of us could be the victim of crime. That’s why we strongly believe in Question 1 — Marsy’s Law — for Nevada. As victim advocates from two of the largest victim service organizations in Nevada, we know firsthand the difference that Question 1 will make in the lives of crime victims.

We believe that every Nevadan deserves basic rights if they are dragged into the criminal justice system because they were targeted by a criminal act. It’s just fair. Our law enforcement and prosecutors across Nevada work hard to make sure justice is administered correctly, but the process can be difficult to navigate. Victims have to endure bail hearings, court proceedings, subpoenas, trials, sentencing and list goes on. The victims don’t want to be there. They don’t deserve to be there. And many victims express that they just feel like they’re being revictimized simply because the system is foreign to them and frustrating. We honestly believe that Question 1 will make our judicial system more equitable for victims of crime.

No one deserves to be a victim of crime, but every victim deserves Marsy’s Law for Nevada. It is time to provide protected, unquestionable and enforceable rights for every victim of crime in our state. Many victims of violent crimes will tell you the fear of the unknown is the worst part, after their attack of course. Fear that they won’t find out about a bail hearing, or they won’t know about a release, or won’t know about a plea bargain. Question 1 will require that victims of crime who want to be involved in their case are notified and informed of the proceedings beforehand. We know that this is an essential part of the recovery and healing process for victims.

This is not a political issue, it is a people issue. This is simply the right thing to do. This initiative will ensure victims have the right to receive information about the services available to them. The right to be treated with fairness and respect throughout the criminal justice process. The right to be protected from the defendant. The right to be notified of all public proceedings in the case. The right to be reasonably heard upon request, at all public proceedings regarding the case. The right to reasonably confer with the prosecuting agency, upon request, regarding the case. The right to full and timely restitution. These are some highlights proposed under Question 1.

This legislation has been a bipartisan collaboration by lawmakers and community advocates. That list, statewide, consists of well over 200 Nevada civic leaders including city, county, state and federal lawmakers, mayors, district attorneys, law enforcement officials, and victims’ advocacy groups like ours. Question 1 is about standing up for all victims of crime to ensure they are not lost in the legal process and maneuvering that follows.

Voters must know that rights in the United States are not a zero-sum game. Those who are accused have protected due process as guaranteed under the United States Constitution, as it should be. Question 1 does not seek to change or reduce those essential rights of the accused. However, we strongly believe that victims in Nevada deserve equal rights protected under the Nevada Constitution. Every victim is important!

We urge family, neighbors, colleagues, and community-minded businesses and organizations to endorse Marsy’s Law for Nevada. We urge you to cast a vote for your rights. Vote Yes on Question 1 this November!

Members of the editorial and news staff of the USA Today Network were not involved in the creation of this content.

2018-10-01T21:30:14+00:00
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