What is Issue #1?

The city election is underway, with the polls opening today and early voting already open to Dayton citizens, and voters are looking to become familiar with the various issues on the ballot.

One of the more popular topics of discussion being on Issue 1, with a number of commercials being broadcast on TV attempting to win votes.

Issue 1 addresses crime victims rights. According to ballotpedia.org, “Issue 1 would provide crime victims with specific constitutional rights.” These rights would ensure they receive information about hearings, protection from the accused and more.

Issue 1, if voted into action, would repeal and replace Ohio’s second amendment, that was voted into effect in 1994. While Ohio’s second amendment already included many rights for crime victims, Issue 1 would add more rights that were not included.

The measure is similar to a Marsy’s Law, which protects the victims of crimes and their loved ones. It was first introduced in California, when a woman (Marsalee Nicholas) was stalked and murdered by her ex-boyfriend, and just a week later her family was walking into a grocery store and were confronted by the accused murderer, having no idea that he made it out of prison on bail.

Issue 1 was submitted as an initiative petition with more than 2,000 signatures on January 24, 2017. Henry Nicholas, Marsalee Nicholas’ brother, donated almost 8.5 million dollars to the Marsy’s Law for Ohio, LCC committee.

According to ballotpedia.org, Catherine Harper Lee, executive director of the Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center, says, “Marsy’s Law will ensure crime victims receive equal protections and equal access to justice. Far too many crime victims have been denied their most basic rights. Marsy’s Law corrects this injustice by informing crime victims of their rights, the status of their cases and (to) receive notice of hearings that can impact their safety.”

Some concerns with Issue 1, according to cincinnati.com, are that victims could repeatedly interrupt court proceedings and violate the accused’s right to a speedy trial. Victims could withhold evidence. They could also recant and leave prosecutors scrambling – not wanting to violate victims’ rights but still wanting to pursue the case.

By October 31, 2017, 5 states had already ratified Marsy’s Law’s into their constitutions, this includes California, Illinois, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Similar to Ohio, many states have this law up for ballot this election or the following.

For more information about Marsy’s Law in Ohio, you can visit marsyslaw.us.

Kelsey Fitzpatrick



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