The Senate Law and Public Safety Committee advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Declan O'Scanlon that would expand victims’ rights and provide more access to the plea negotiation process to make their voices heard.
"When victims share their perspectives with prosecutors near the conclusion of plea negotiations, critical and relevant information may be missed and impact the outcome of the case," said Sen. O'Scanlon (R-13). "By engaging victims early on in the process, we can provide a greater opportunity to make their voices heard. This legislation would strengthen our legal system and hold more perpetrators accountable by expanding the rights that victims have in criminal prosecutions."
Key components of S-1062 amend the Crime Victims' Bill of Rights to:
- Provide victims with an opportunity to provide feedback to prosecuting authorities prior to the beginning of the plea negotiation process with a defendant.
- Require the prosecuting authority to advise the court of the victim's position on the plea agreement unless the victim requests otherwise.
- Allow victims to receive timely incident reports when there is a pending application for certain restraining orders.
- Expand the definition of "victim" to include the parent or legal guardian of a minor victim acting on behalf of the minor victim.
You can read the full text of the bill online.
To speak with Sen. O'Scanlon about this legislation, please contact Chris Sivel, SRO Deputy Director of Communications at [email protected].