Amanda Grady Sexton
Throughout my professional career, I have worked alongside those who have been impacted by crime to improve the legal rights of victims. It has been the honor of a lifetime to work with so many resilient survivors and their families who have shared their stories in an effort to promote positive change. Together, we have worked with lawmakers, law enforcement, and victim advocates to create comprehensive statutory rights for victims in New Hampshire. But there is so much more work to do.
For thirty years, New Hampshire advocates have been working to find a way to enshrine victims’ rights in our state constitution because we know it is the only way to truly create a level create parity in the criminal justice system and to create enforceable rights for victims. I am grateful that Marsy’s Law is teaming up with the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence to make constitutional protections for victims of crime a reality in our state.
Unlike those who are accused and convicted of committing crimes, victims in New Hampshire currently have NO rights within our state’s constitution. This leaves us with an imbalanced criminal justice system that prioritizes the rights of the convicted over the rights of those they victimize. It is a system that fails to treat all people equally and it leaves victims of crime without a meaningful voice.
No matter how vocal the advocates, no matter how conscientious the police or prosecutors, there will be someone who has been victimized who faces the justice system alone. This person should have basic rights on par with the criminals who took their property, their dignity, or their loved ones. They should have the right to know when the offender is being released on bail and they should have the right to be heard when the offender is up for parole.
New Hampshire respects and supports equality and basic fairness. It is a part of our culture; it is our way of life here. It’s time to give victims equal rights under the law.
Please join survivors of crime, Governor Chris Sununu, legislative leaders in both parties, advocates, law enforcement officials, and a growing network of supporters who support Marsy’s Law for New Hampshire.