Frequently Asked Questions

Until we provide constitutional protections for Tennessee crime victims, their rights will always be weaker and less protective than those of the criminal who perpetrated the crime against them. We need to remember that they are the person who has suffered from the crime — they deserve to have enforceable rights that are recognized at the highest legal level.

Marsy’s Law outlines a handful of enforceable constitutional rights for victims of crime, including:

  • the reasonable right, upon request, to timely notice of all proceedings;
  • the right to be heard in any proceeding involving a release, plea, sentencing or other matter involving the right of a victim other than the grand jury proceedings;
  • the right to be present at the trial and all other proceedings, other than grand jury proceedings, on the same basis as the accused;
  • the right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay;
  • the right to reasonable protection from the accused and those acting on behalf of the accused throughout the criminal and juvenile justice process;
  • the right to timely notice, upon request, of release or escape of the accused;
  • the right to have the safety of the victim and the victim’s family considered in setting bail, determining whether to release the defendant, and setting conditions of release after arrest and conviction;
  • the right to full restitution to be paid by the convicted or adjudicated party in a manner to be determined by the court;
  • the right to fairness and due consideration of the crime victim’s safety, dignity, and privacy;
  • the right to be informed of these enumerated rights; 
  • And standing to assert these rights.