One of the state’s leading civil liberties organizations is opposing Issue 1 – the victims’ rights constitutional amendment known as Marsy’s Law.
The ACLU of Ohio’s Gary Daniels says many parts of Issue 1 are already in law, and if there’s a problem with enforcement, he says that should be addressed. He also worries putting Marsy’s Law into the Constitution would make it difficult to fix possible problems. But Daniels says this ballot issue would endanger due process for people accused of crimes. Daniels says it would allow victims to refuse interviews or depositions.
“And there are perfectly logical and reasonable reasons why somebody might seek information from a crime victim when they are being accused of a crime. That’s just part of the everyday give and take of the justice system but this amendment would shut down many of those avenues.” - Gary Daniels, Ohio ACLU
Aaron Marshall with the Issue 1 campaign says that’s not the case.
“What we are trying to stop are these fishing expeditions that have nothing to do with the case which we are seeing around Ohio. If a defendant needs a piece of information from a crime victim to help their case and it is pertinent to their case, they can go through the proper procedures to get a judge rule on whether it is pertinent and admissible, and then they get their evidence.” Aaron Marshall, Issue 1 campaign spokesman
The state public defender and the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys’ Association has also opposed the issue, though some individual prosecutors are supporting it.