Give victims a voice, vote YES on Prop 9

Voting “yes” on Proposition 9 would expand the constitutional rights of crime victims to equal those already granted by the state to criminals. By preventing the release of personal and confidential records to criminal defendants and forcing judges to consider the safety of victims and their family’s when making bail decisions for the accused, victims would be more secure against retributive acts by criminals. Proposition 9 would allow victims (with an expanded role given to family members) to participate in any public criminal proceedings. The initiative mandates justice by guaranteeing restitution payments after suffering a loss because of a crime and secures those funds to them first before restitution monies can be apportioned to pay for other administrative fees.

Inmates serving life sentences, after being denied parole, would generally have to serve a longer interim term before the next parole hearing, thereby lessoning the taxpayer burden on parole hearing fees. This would give California’s budget “potential net savings in the low tens of millions of dollars.” The amendment would streamline the parole process by considering the merits of giving legal counsel to parolees facing a parole revocation on a case by case basis, further mitigating taxpayer liability. Prop. 9 would effectively prevent politicians from releasing inmates early simply to ease overcrowding in the prison system.

The initiative would also require that victims receive, in writing, notice of their constitutional rights. NVCAP, a 501(c)(4) organization supporting the adoption of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to uphold the fair and just treatment of crime victims in criminal proceedings claims, “Marsy’s law will restore to victims an independent voice in a system that for too long has marginalized and silenced them.”