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State Victims' Rights Amendments


  • Ohio amended its constitutional amendment by initiative with the adoption of Marsy's Law in November, 2017. The measure was passed by 82.59% of voters.
  • A state Constitutional Amendment for Victims' Rights was passed in November, 1994. The amendment was passed by 77% of voters.

Amendement Text (2017):

Section lOa. Rights of Victims of Crimes

(A) To secure for victims justice and due process throughout the criminal and juvenile justice
systems, a victim shall have the following rights, which shall be protected in a manner no less
vigorous than the rights afforded to the accused:

(1) to be treated with fairness and respect for the victim's safety, dignity and privacy;

(2) upon request, to reasonable and timely notice of all public proceedings involving the
criminal offense or delinquent act against the victim, and to be present at all such

(3) to be heard in any public proceeding involving release, plea, sentencing, disposition, or
parole, or in any public proceeding in which a right of the victim is implicated;

(4) to reasonable protection from the accused or any person acting on behalf of the accused;

(5) upon request, to reasonable notice of any release or escape of the accused;

(6) except as authorized by section 10 of Article I of this constitution, to refuse an interview,
deposition, or other discovery request made by the accused or any person acting on
behalf of the accused;

(7) to full and timely restitution from the person who committed the criminal offense or
delinquent act against the victim;

(8) to proceedings free from unreasonable delay and a prompt conclusion of the case;

(9) upon request, to confer with the attorney for the government; and

(10) to be informed, in writing, of all rights enumerated in this section.

(B) The victim, the attorney for the government upon request of the victim, or the victim's other
lawful representative, in any proceeding involving the criminal 'offense or delinquent act against
the victim or in which the victim's rights are implicated, may assert the rights enumerated in this
section and any other right afforded to the victim by law. If the relief sought is denied, the
victim or the victim's lawful representative may petition the court of appeals for the applicable
district, which shall promptly consider and decide the petition.

(C) This section does not create any cause of action for damages or compensation against the
state, any political subdivision of the state, any officer, employee, or agent of the state or of
any political subdivision, or any officer of the court.

(D) As used in this section, "victim" means a person against whom the criminal offense or
delinquent act is committed or who is directly and proximately harmed by the commission of
the offense or act. The term "victim" does not include the accused or a person whom the
court finds would not act in the best interests of a deceased, incompetent, minor, or
incapacitated victim.

(E) All provisions of this section shall be self-executing and severable, and shall supersede all
conflicting state laws.

(F) This section shall take effect ninety days after the election at which it was approved.

Amendment Text (1994):

Victims of criminal offenses shall be accorded fairness, dignity, and respect in the criminal justice process, and, as the General Assembly shall define and provide by law, shall be accorded rights to reasonable and appropriate notice, information, access, and protection and to a meaningful role in the criminal justice process. This section does not confer upon any person a right to appeal or modify any decision in a criminal proceeding, does not abridge any other right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States or this Constitution, and does not create any cause of action for compensation or damages against the State, any political subdivision of the State, any officer, employee, or agent of the State or of any political subdivision, or any officer of the court.

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