Bill filed to strengthen victims rights via constitutional amendment

The changes would allow for expanded victim roles in parole hearings and advanced notice of release

Eamon Queeney—North State Journal
Representative Nelson Dollar speaks during a press conference after filing legislation to strengthen victims' rights at the Legislative Building in Raleigh

RALEIGH — State lawmakers in the House and Senate filed matching bills Tuesday that would offer voters an option to amend the State Constitution to strengthen victims’ rights, such as alerting victims to the release of their assailants and allowing for expanded roles in court proceedings.”What we are doing is strengthening and, I would say, operationalizing what the spirit of the current constitutional language is,” said primary sponsor of House Bill 551 Nelson Dollar (R-Wake).The amendment would provide for notice to victims of court proceedings and rights to be heard at sentencing, disposition or parole hearings among other expanded victims rights.”Those friends, families, and neighbors who suffer at the hands of criminals, with this law, once this becomes law, they’re going to be informed when the assailants are released, that they’re out of jail,” said Sen. Tamara Barringer (R-Wake), the primary sponsor of the companion Senate Bill 595. “It will also give them a voice and opportunity to be part of the court proceeding that they’ve never had before.”