Victims pushing for more rights in the courtroom

Some crime victims are pushing for more rights in the courtroom after they said justice favored the accused instead of them. They're working to put more rights for victims into the Ohio Constitution.

The group is promoting Marsy's Law, named after a woman killed in California in 1983 whose family ran into her accused killer at a grocery store a week after her death because no one notified them he posted his bail. Supporters will be gathering signatures to get it on the ballot this fall.

Some victims said court proceedings prolonged their suffering.

"I lost my voice again and again and again," said Anna Herb, a survivor of child sexual abuse. "I was just like a wound that just kept being reopened and reopened and reopened each time I heard there was a continuance or heard, 'well, his rights, his rights, his rights'."

Herb said her case was continued more than 20 times. She was part of a group coming out in support of Marsy's Law at the Statehouse Wednesday morning.

Marsy's Law would give victims the right to be notified of all court proceedings, give input on plea deals and potentially receive restitution.

"People charged with a crime have a whole host of rights as they should but sometimes the victim feels left out," said Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien.

Some of the victims who support the law said it would have helped them heal.

"I would have felt empowered," Herb said. "That's the key is that as a victim I needed to feel empowered and that was just continuously taken because he was more important than I was."

Five states have already passed Marsy's Law. Its supporters will have to gather more than 300,000 valid signatures before it can appear on the ballot this fall.

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