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Victim Rights Constitutional Amendment Will Go Before Voters PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 27 June 2018 09:52
The North Carolina Senate passed legislation that will let voters consider a constitutional amendment on the November 2018 ballot to expand the rights of victims of crime and their families. 
A victims’ rights amendment was added to North Carolina’s Constitution in 1996, which gave some crime victims basic rights to participate in the justice system, but House Bill 551 further advances those rights by doing the following:
•         Expands the scope of crimes under which protections to victims are extended. 
•         Requires that victims receive effective and timely notice of all court proceedings.
•         Expands victims’ rights to those victimized by juveniles.
•         Gives victims a greater voice in the process by allowing them to be heard at plea, conviction, sentencing or adjudication hearings.
•         Creates an enforcement mechanism which allows a victim to file a motion with the court if they are being deprived of their rights.  
“This really is a safety and a respect issue. Victims of crimes should not be marginalized. They have rights too, and they deserve the right to be heard, as well as the right to know what’s going on in court proceedings that involve them,” said Sen. Tamara Barringer (R-Wake). “Enshrining this amendment in the Constitution will ensure victim’s rights are enforceable and consistent across all 100 counties in North Carolina and will not be subject to legislative change.”
While protecting the rights of victims, the bill makes sure that those rights do not infringe upon the rights of the accused. 
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