Marsy’s Law asks law enforcement to notify victims of inmates releases during COVID-19 outbreak

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Marsy’s Law for Nevada is asking Nevada Sheriffs, Police Chiefs, Commanders, District Attorneys and the Department of Corrections to continue their dedication to the victims of crime by giving prior notification of any release of inmates due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

With the passage of Marsy’s Law for Nevada in 2018, the state Constitution requires that law enforcement and prosecutorial offices provide timely notification to victims who’ve requested updates on their case, so they’re kept informed about any impending release, escape or death of the defendant in custody or under supervision.

According to Marsy’s Law for Nevada, there have been reports of law enforcement in New York City, Los Angeles, and Cleveland, Ohio releasing hundreds of non-violent inmates early to try and prevent the spread of COVID-19 within jails.

Some jurisdictions are instituting a policy of “Cite and Release” for some non-violent offenders, according to Marsy’s Law for Nevada.

Should Nevada’s legal and law enforcement leaders decide action is needed in their jurisdiction, Marsy’s Law for Nevada hopes that reasonable efforts will continue to be made to notify victims prior to the inmate’s release.

“Marsy’s Law for Nevada supporters understand the challenges and difficult decisions being made by legal authorities in the wake of this pandemic, and we are very grateful for their efforts. At the same time, the constitutional rights of crime victims must be upheld in the interest of public safety,” says Lynda Tache, State Director of Marsy’s Law for Nevada.

Tache adds, “We urge our law enforcement leaders to keep in mind their role to protect victims from potentially dangerous encounters with the perpetrator they believed was still incarcerated, by keeping victims informed of a release.”

Marsy’s Law includes:

  • Right to receive information about the services available to crime victims
  • Right to be treated with fairness and respect throughout the criminal justice process
  • Right to be protected from the defendant
  • Right to be notified of the impending release of the defendant
  • Right to notice of all public proceedings in the case
  • Right to be reasonably heard, at request, at all public proceedings regarding the case
  • Right to reasonably confer with the prosecuting agency, at request, regarding the case
  • Right to full and timely restitution

Marsy’s Law is named after Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in California in 1983. A week later he was released pending his court proceedings and went face to face with the victim’s family, who had no idea he was out of jail.

Today her brother works to secure a voice and protection for victims and their families, nationwide.

For more information on Marsy’s Law for Nevada, please visit www.MarsysLawforNV.com.

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