OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma amplified the rights and voices of victims and their families Wednesday, with Oklahoma Crime Victims’ Rights Day at the State Capitol.
The ceremony was hosted by the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council and sponsored by Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat and Speaker McCall.
The day falls in the middle of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
“So often when a crime happens the inclination is to focus on the offender, but there’s a victim also,” said District Attorney Matt Ballard.
“We have the rare opportunity to elevate, engage and affect change [and] to provide justice to victims and survivors a network of support as the deal with crimes that will forever impact their families ad prepare a better path forward for the victims and survivors that will come,” added AG Drummond, also in attendance.
Oklahoma voters passed Marsy’s Law in 2018, as a state question.
Subsequently, the Oklahoma Constitution now guarantees greater protections for victims, survivors, and their families or guardians.
Read more about Mary’s Law here.
Few know the fight for victims rights better than Bo and Sheri Farmer.
The couple’s relentless pursuit of victim advocacy has spanned more than 45 years after their daughter was one of three girl scouts brutally assaulted and murdered back in 1977.
No one has ever been convicted of the crime.
The man widely suspected in the killings, Gene Leroy Hart died in prison two years after the murder while serving time for other crimes.
Serving as keynote speakers for Wednesday’s event, Bo and Sheri Farmer told the crowd the realization that their daughter had become a nameless, faceless figure on a court document helped them make the decision to become lifelong victims rights advocates.
“No one even knew her name. And the person accused in our case became famous,” said Sheri Farmer.
“There is no closure. Our goal is almost what it was that day when we stopped after the trial at the cemetery: we wanted to help others still continue to seek truth and justice for Lori and we wanted to honor her memory so that she would not be forgotten,” she added.