Victims Rights Amendment Could Be Taken Off Florida Ballot

A Florida attorney is asking a judge to remove a proposed constitutional amendment dealing with victims' rights from this year's ballot. 

Lee Hollander, a southwest Florida criminal defense lawyer, filed the lawsuit last week. The suit maintains that the proposed constitutional amendment is misleading and does not adequately inform voters about what it actually does.

Amendment 6 or Marsy's Law was put on the ballot by the state's Constitution Revision Commission. The commission meets every 20 years and has the power to place amendments directly before voters. They must be approved by 60 percent of voters in order to pass.

Amendment 6 would spell out crime victims' rights, including: 

  • Protections from harassment
  • Being informed of the accused's custody status
  • The right to be heard during criminal proceedings 
  • The right to confer with prosecutors about any plea agreements

The proposal would also put limits on how long appeals can take. Furthermore, the amendment would raise the mandatory retirement age for judges and justices from 70 to 75.

Hollander says the measure removes rights of criminal defendants while at the same time promising to create new rights that are actually already in place for victims. He called the proposal an attempted "vote getter" that will actually spark "mischief" as the state's courts are forced to interpret it.

This is the third lawsuit that has been filed against amendments proposed by the revision commission. 

Last week the League of Women Voters filed a lawsuit to remove a charter schools measure from the ballot. In May, a group representing greyhound owners and breeders in Florida filed a lawsuit against an amendment that would ban betting on dog races held in Florida.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content