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Marsy's Rights

On November 4, 2008, the people of the State of California approved Proposition 9, the Victims' Bill of Rights Act of 2008: Marsy's Law. This measure amended the California Constitution to include a Bill of Rights for crime victims in California and to provide all victims with rights to justice and due process.

Victims Bill of Rights - Marsy's Law

The California Constitution, Article 1, Section 28, confers certain rights to victims of crime as they are defined in the law.  Those rights include:

 

1.  Fairness and Respect

            To be treated with fairness and respect for his or her privacy and dignity, and to be

            free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse, throughout the criminal or juvenile

            justice process.

 

2.  Protection from the Defendant

            To be reasonably protected from the defendant and persons acting on behalf of the

            defendant.

 

3.  Victim Safety Considerations in Setting Bail and Release Conditions

            To have the safety of the victim and the victim's family considered in fixing the

            amount of bail and release conditions for the defendant.

 

4.  The Prevention of the Disclosure of Confidential Information

            To prevent the disclosure of confidential information or records to the defendant, the

            defendant's attorney, or any other person acting on behalf of the defendant, which

            could be used to locate or harass the victim or the victim's family or which disclose

            confidential communications made in the course of medical or counseling

            treatment, or which are otherwise privileged or confidential by law.

 

5.  Refusal to be Interviewed by the Defense

            To refuse an interview, deposition, or discovery request by the defendant, the

            defendant's attorney, or any other person acting on behalf of the defendant, and to

            set reasonable conditions on the conduct of any such interview to which the victim

            consents.

 

6.  Conference with the Prosecution and Notice of Pretrial Disposition

            To reasonable notice of and to reasonably confer with the prosecuting agency, upon

            request, regarding, the arrest of the defendant if known by the prosecutor, the

            charges filed, the determination whether to extradite the defendant, and, upon

            request, to be notified of and informed before any pretrial disposition of the case.

 

7.  Notice of and Presence at Public Proceedings

            To reasonable notice of all public proceedings, including delinquency proceedings,

            upon request, at which the defendant and the prosecutor are entitled to be present

            and of all parole or other post-conviction release proceedings, and to be present at

            all such proceedings.

 

8.  Appearance at Court Proceedings and Expression of Views

            To be heard, upon request, at any proceeding, including any delinquency

            proceeding, involving a post-arrest release decision, plea, sentencing,

            post-conviction release decision, or any proceeding in which a right of the victim

            is at issue.

 

9.  Speedy Trial and Prompt Conclusion of the Case

            To a speedy trial and a prompt and final conclusion of the case and any related

            post-judgment proceedings.

 

10.  Provision of Information to the Probation Department

            To provide information to a probation department official conducting a pre-sentence

            investigation concerning the impact of the offense on the victim and the victim's

            family and any sentencing recommendations before the sentencing of the

            defendant.

 

11.  Receipt of Pre-Sentence Report

            To receive, upon request, the pre-sentence report when available to the defendant,

            except for those portions made confidential by law.

 

12.  Information About Conviction, Sentence, Incarceration, Release, and Escape

            To be informed, upon request, of the conviction, sentence, place and time of

            incarceration, or other disposition of the defendant, the scheduled release date of

            the defendant, and the release of or the escape by the defendant from custody.

 

13.  Restitution

            A.  It is the unequivocal intention of the People of the State of California that all

                  persons who suffer losses as a result of criminal activity shall have the right to

                  seek and secure restitution from the persons convicted of the crimes causing the

                  losses they suffer.

            B.  Restitution shall be ordered from the convicted wrongdoer in every case,

                  regardless of the sentence or disposition imposed, in which a crime victim

                  suffers a loss.

            C.  All monetary payments,  monies, and property collected from any person who

                  has been ordered to make restitution shall be first applied to pay the amounts

                  ordered as restitution to the victim.

 

14.  The Prompt Return of Property

            To the prompt return of property when no longer needed as evidence.

 

15.  Notice of Parole Procedures and Release on Parole

            To be informed of all parole procedures, to participate in the parole process, to

            provide information to the parole authority to be considered before the parole of the

            offender, and to be notified, upon request, of the parole or other release of the

            offender.

 

16.  Safety of Victim and Public are Factors in parole Release

            To have the safety of the victim, the victim's family, and the general public

            considered before any parole or other post-judgment release decision is made.

 

17.  Information About These 16 Rights

            To be informed of the rights enumerated in paragraphs (1) through (16)

 

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