COLUMBUS — State Rep. Bob Cupp, R-Lima, has introduced legislation he said will enhance constitutional protections for victims of crime in Ohio.
Cupp is the sponsor of House Bill 610, known as the Ohio Crime Victim Bill of Rights. Proposals contained in the bill, Cupp said, would expand the rights already constitutionally guaranteed to victims of crime under the “Marsy’s Law” Crime Victims Amendment to the Ohio Constitution, approved by Ohio voters in November 2017.
“The Ohio Constitution requires that a victim of crime shall have their rights protected in a manner no less vigorous than that of a person accused of committing the crime,” Cupp said in a prepared statement. “With this bill, these constitutional protections for crime victims will be fully enabled with workable statutory provisions to achieve justice for victims.”
Cupp said his proposal will protect victims against public disclosure of personal information and enhance their right to be heard in court proceedings. The bill would require prompt notification to victims when defendants are released from incarceration and would provide a mechanism to petition appellate courts when necessary to enforce a crime victim’s rights.
David Voth, executive director of Crime Victim Services in Allen and Putnam counties, said that under House Bill 610, “Our constitutional concepts providing victims’ the right to safety, privacy and participation will be defined in practical and understandable ways.”
The bill will soon be referred to the House Rules and Reference Committee for assignment to a standing House committee for hearings.
According to Cupp’s statement, the legislation was crafted in conjunction with the Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center, with input from the Ohio Judicial Conference, Ohio Prosecuting Attorney’s Association, Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, the Columbus City Attorney’s Office and others.