Sheriffs from 24 counties, including Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, joined the growing list of law enforcement leaders endorsing Marsy’s Law for Florida, or Constitution Revision Commission Proposal 96, which would place equal rights and protections for victims in the state constitution. The full Constitution Revision Commission has already voted favorably on Marsy’s Law for Florida and will vote again one final time to determine if the measure should be placed on the November ballot as a proposed constitutional amendment. To be placed in the Florida Constitution, the amendment must pass with at least 60 percent of the vote.
The sheriffs’ endorsements come in the midst of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 8 – 14, a time to promote victims’ rights and honor crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf. Endorsing Marsy’s Law for Florida this week:
- Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell
- Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell
- Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk
- DeSoto County Sheriff James Potter
- Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly
- Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith
- Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden
- Lafayette County Sheriff Brian Lamb
- Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil
- Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum
- Liberty County Sheriff Eddie Joe White
- Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells
- Martin County Sheriff William Snyder
- Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay
- Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings
- Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco
- Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson
- Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight
- Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma
- St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara
- Volusia County Sheriff Michael Chitwood
- Wakulla County Sheriff Jared Miller
- Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson, Jr.
- Washington County Sheriff Kevin Crews
Marsy’s Law for Florida was previously endorsed by the Florida Police Chiefs Association and Florida Sheriffs Association.
In a letter to Marsy’s Law for Florida/Proposal 96 sponsor Constitution Revision Commissioner Tim Cerio, Walton County Sheriff and Florida Sheriffs Association President Mike Adkinson said, “Florida has always been a state with strong safeguards in place for crime victims. Previous state legislatures made certain that crime victims were both protected and properly compensated. Proposal 96 will further strengthen these efforts by guaranteeing crime victims have a meaningful role in the criminal justice system. Victims of crime must be treated with fairness and Proposal 96 respects victims by providing them with access to information on every step of the judicial process.”
The measure has also received the support of Governor Rick Scott, former Governor Jeb Bush, State Attorney Andrew Warren (13th Judicial Circuit, Hillsborough County) State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle (11th Judicial Circuit, Miami-Dade County) State Attorney R.J. Larizza (7th Judicial Circuit, Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia Counties), State Attorney Brad King (5th Judicial Circuit, Marion, Lake, Citrus, Sumter, Hernando Counties), State Attorney Dave Aronberg (15th Judicial Circuit, Palm Beach County), former State Attorneys Rod Smith of Gainesville and Willie Meggs of Tallahassee, and State Senator Lauren Book.
Marsy’s Law is named after Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas of California who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Only one week after her death, Marsy’s mother and brother, Henry T. Nicholas, walked into a grocery store where they were confronted by the accused murderer. The family, who had just come from a visit to Marsy’s grave, was unaware that the accused had been released on bail. In an effort to honor his sister, Dr. Nicholas, co-founder of Broadcom Corporation, has made it his mission to give victims and their families constitutional protections and equal rights. He formed Marsy’s Law for All in 2009, providing expertise and resources to victims’ rights organizations nationwide.