Ohio voters change Constitution to enhance crime victims' rights

Ohio has become the latest state in the Midwest to change its constitution with a goal of improving the rights of crime victims.

Issue 1, also known as Marsy’s Law, was approved in November by voters: 82.6 percent to 17.4 percent. Its enumerated list of rights includes privacy, notification of court proceedings, prompt conclusion of a case, protections from the accused, restitution, and the ability to refuse discovery requests made by the accused.

Like most Midwestern states (Iowa and Minnesota are the exceptions), Ohio has protections for the rights of crime victims in its constitution. In 2016, voters in North Dakota and South Dakota overwhelmingly approved adding versions of Marsy’s law to their state constitutions; Illinois residents did the same in 2014. Wisconsin was the first U.S. state to establish a statutory bill of rights for crime victims. In the Midwest, constitutional-level protections were added between 1988 and 1996.
Ohio voters also defeated Issue 2, by a margin of 79.3 percent to 20.7 percent. It would have required state agencies and programs to pay no more for drugs than what the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs pays. Ohio was the first Midwestern state where this type of drug-pricing law appeared on the ballot.
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Stateline Midwest: November 20174.92 MB