I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AS A PROSECUTOR AND DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR 46 YEARS. Amendment 6
(victim’s rights) would be a disaster!
Let me start with “VOTE NO ON AMENDMENT 6”. Here’s why:
1) Florida ALREADY has a victim’s rights Amendment. It provides for victim notification and involvement in the court process. It guarantees the right to be heard and input at the time of sentencing.
2) Amendment 6 will allow victims to file for a “speedy trial” with the court at a tremendous hardship on prosecutors (and defense attorneys) to prepare their cases.
3) Amendment 6 permits victims to become involved in the negotiations between the state and the defense sometimes in an effort to “game” the system. For example, if a couple is heading for a divorce, one spouse may call the police stating they have been pushed or shoved and the other spouse is arrested. Under Amendment 6 the “victim” can stop a negotiation or move for a speedy trial to gain an advantage over their spouse in divorce court, using the criminal case as leverage (for money, the house or child custody). Yes, sometimes there is a “blur” between who is the victim and who is the defendant.
4) Lastly, and most importantly, Amendment 6 DOES NOT BELONG in our state Constitution. It is PERMANENT! Matters such as these can be addressed by legislation by our legislature. That way, over time, it can be modified or even repealed if not working as intended. If it is in the Constitution, it cannot be changed!