ICYMI: What's next for the Tennessee Legislature and Marsy's Law


KNOXVILLE, TN - In case you missed it, the Tennessee legislature will be heading back to sessions in a matter of weeks on June 1st. The house will be hoping to cover a range of bills and topics, including Marsy's Law. You can catch the article in full here

Continue reading for an excerpt from the article regarding Tina Gregg, an advocate, and a crime victim. 


What's next for the Tennessee Legislature and Marsy's Law

WBIR 10 News

May 2020 

Advocate, mother, and crime victim Tina Gregg said it is personal to her, as her daughter was killed in 2011.

"Me as a mother, I will never stop fighting for my daughter," she said. 

At one point she said she wasn't notified her daughter's killer was allowed to leave the state, which left her uneasy. 

"When we were in court he said he wouldn't let him but then he did and didn't tell anyone," she said. 

Since it is an amendment, crime victim and victim advocate Marianne Purcell Dunavant said the timeline looks a little different.

"A constitutional amendment has to pass two general assemblies and we're in the second year of the first, which means next year starts a new one," she said. "It also has to pass on a gubernatorial ballot."

According to Gregg and Dunavant, that means if it makes it out of this assembly it could make the 2022 ballot.

If not, they said they may have to start from scratch.

"If we do not get it this year then we're gonna have to start over, and that puts us at the 2026 ballot," she added. 


You can read more on Marsy's Law and the Tennessee State Legislature here




More About Marsy’s Law for Tennessee:

State Senator John Stevens of Huntingdon and State Representative Patsy Hazlewood of Signal Mountain are sponsoring the bill, with Lt. Governor Randy McNally and Speaker Cameron Sexton as prime co-sponsors. The resolutions have broad, bipartisan support that includes co-sponsors Sen. Janice Bowling, Rep. William Lamberth, Rep. Jeremy Faison, Rep. Gary Hicks, Rep. John Mark Windle, Rep. Curtis Johnson, Rep. Harold Love, Rep. Ron Gant, Rep. Andrew Farmer, Rep. Brandon Ogles, Rep. Bruce Griffey, and Rep. Mike Carter.

Adopting Marsy’s Law in Tennessee will provide victims with the ability to assert the critical rights to which they are promised including:

  • The right to be treated with fairness for the victim's safety, dignity, and privacy;
  • The right, upon request, to reasonable and timely notice of, and to be present at, all criminal public proceedings and all juvenile delinquency proceedings involving the accused;
  • The right to be heard in any proceeding involving release, plea, sentencing, disposition, and parole, as well as any public proceeding during which a right of the victim is implicated;
  • The right to be free from harassment, intimidation, and abuse throughout the criminal justice system, including reasonable protection from the accused or any person acting on behalf of the accused;
  • The right, upon request, to reasonable notice of any release or escape of an accused;
  • The right to full and timely restitution from the offender;
  • The right to a speedy trial or disposition and a prompt and final conclusion of the case after the conviction or sentence;
  • The right, upon request, to confer with the prosecution;
  • The right to be fully informed of all rights afforded to crime victims.

For more information, visit marsyslawfortn.com.

About Marsy’s Law

Marsy’s Law is named after Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas of California who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Only one week after her death, Marsy’s mother and brother, Henry T. Nicholas, walked into a grocery store where they were confronted by the accused murderer. The family, who had just come from a visit to Marsy’s grave, was unaware that the accused had been released on bail.

In an effort to honor his sister, Dr. Nicholas has made it his mission to give victims and their families constitutional protections and equal rights. He formed Marsy’s Law for All in 2009, providing expertise and resources to victims’ rights organizations nationwide.

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