NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – It’s been more than one year since Oklahoma voters passed Marsy’s Law, ensuring the rights of crime victims, but advocates and officials say there’s still much to learn.
On Thursday, the attorney general’s office and advocates hosted a training for law enforcement, prosecutors, mental health professionals and more.
“Most everybody knows the right to remain silent and the rights that are given to those that are accused of a crime,” said Marsy’s Law State Director Kim Moyer. “We want it to be that second nature for crime victims as well.”
The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office, District Attorney’s Council, and Marsy’s Law advocates are working to build bridges for crime victims from the initial investigation to prosecution to pardon and parole, letting them know they can be heard every step of the way.
“It empowers crime victims to have a more vested role in their case,” Moyer said.
She says since it passed in November of 2018, officials have made great strides but they need to continue helping victims get better access to the information they need.
While they find what is working and what’s not, the District Attorney’s Council is working with their offices to make sure victims’ experiences are uniform and less stressful across the state.
“Crime victims don’t ask to be integrated into the criminal justice system, they’re thrown into it and when you’re suffering from trauma and trying to make difficult decisions and trying to understand a complicated system, it’s very very stressful,” said Moyer.
She says passing Marsy’s Law was just the first step.
Last legislative session, some accountability measures were added but she says they’re not stopping there.
“We want to change the culture of the way Oklahoma treats crime victims,” said Moyer.
Crime victims and officials can get more information and find help on the Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma website.