Op-Ed: Kenton, Hardin Sheriffs Support Marsy's Law
Every law enforcement officer in Kentucky has taken an oath to enforce the laws of our state and the nation and has vowed to uphold these laws to our greatest ability. We have also all taken a vow to serve and protect victims of crime.
Unfortunately, the justice system does not always provide equal rights to both the accused and victimized. And officers are often left powerless to deal with it.
As guardians of the law, we agree that no victim of crime should feel as if they are slotted to second place while their offender is given the upper hand. Giving crime victims constitutional rights through Marsy’s Law would balance the scales of justice and provide them with the same level rights as the accused.
The criminal justice system is confusing, and victims are not guaranteed guides to help them navigate it. Too many victims are forced to spend hours doing research on their own cases instead of healing from the trauma they have experienced.
These are among the many problems with our criminal justice system, but thankfully, this is a problem we can do something about. Our current system too often results in confusion for victims, weakening their voice in the process. On November 6, Kentuckians can change that.
No one wants to find themselves in a life-altering scenario but sadly, this happens more often than most people realize. In fact, more than 10,000 Kentuckians found themselves victim to a violent crime in 2016.
With so many stories circulating in the news, we rarely hear of the tragedy that sticks with victims and their families after-the-fact. We in law enforcement hear those stories every day. Some families of victims may be able to move on from such situations, but for others, that isn’t the case.
Marsy’s Law for Kentucky would open the door to people who haven’t had the ability to fight for justice due to restrictions, confusion or lack of support in the legal system. Providing the common courtesy of notifying victims when future court proceedings will occur, when their accuser is released, and giving them the right to privacy are only some of the ways Marsy’s Law would improve our court system.
Victims deserve justice and respect when forced into a situation that was not their choice. Giving equal rights and protection will not only strengthen current cases but help to benefit future ones. We need Marsy’s Law for the sake of fair judgement, equal rights and proper support for the people who need it.
My fellow Kentuckians, we’ve looked into the eyes of crime victims and we’re asking you to vote YES and give them constitutional rights this election. Be the change and bring the solution.
Charles L. Korzenborn is the Kenton County Sheriff and John Ward is the Hardin County Sheriff.