Oklahoma to send crime victims' 'bill of rights' to ballot

Posted at 1:46 PM, Apr 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-04 14:46:44-04

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma voters will decide whether to enshrine what's being called a crime victims' bill of rights into the state constitution -- despite concerns the proposal could lead to costly unintended consequences.

With little discussion and no debate Tuesday, the House voted 88-0 to send "Marsy's Law" to the November 2018 ballot. The push to enact the constitutional amendment is bankrolled by Henry Nicholas, a retired California technology company executive whose sister -- Marsy -- was murdered in 1983.

If approved by voters, the measure, among other things, would require victims to be notified and be heard in most criminal proceedings and prohibit "unreasonable delay" of criminal cases.

The head of a national organization of criminal defense attorneys says the law is mostly unnecessary and poses numerous additional requirements for prosecutors.

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