State Rep. Mary Littleton, R-Dickson, is supporting legislation that will strengthen the rights of crime victims in Tennessee. House Joint Resolution 822, known as Marsy’s Law, is sponsored by State Rep. Patsy Hazlewood, R-Signal Mountain. This legislation would give crime victims the same constitutional rights as those accused and convicted of crimes in Tennessee. Crime victims would have the right to be notified of all court proceedings involving the accused as well as the explicit right to be heard in those proceedings under Marsy’s Law. “I’m proud to stand up for victims’ rights by supporting HJR822,” said Littleton. During her tenure in the House of Representatives, Littleton has fought to raise awareness and support for victims’ rights. She has been a leader in Tennessee’s efforts to combat human trafficking. “Survivors and their families should not be re-victimized by our legal system by being deprived of the ability to participate in their case,” Littleton said. The resolution would update language in the state constitution to clarify enforceable rights and protections for victims. The resolution is expected to be considered by the House Judiciary Committee when the legislature reconvenes in June.
If passed in two consecutive legislative sessions and signed by the governor, the constitutional amendment guaranteeing these protections would be placed on the November 2022 ballot for voters to approve. Marsy's Law is named after Marsalee "Marsy" Nicholas of California who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Shortly after her death, Marsy's mother and brother, were confronted by the accused murderer in a grocery store. Mary Littleton is a member of the House State Government Committee, the Department and Agencies Subcommittee, the House Government Operations Committee, the House Judiciary Committee, and the Chairman of the House Children and Families Subcommittee. Littleton lives in Dickson and represents House District 78, which includes Cheatham and part of Dickson Counties. She can be reached by email at Rep.Mary.Littleton@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7477.