Whether the 2018 Marsy’s Law constitutional amendment gave crime victims the right to be heard in criminal appeals was robustly debated during a procedural rule amendment case before the Supreme Court October 6.

At issue was proposed Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.143. As originally prepared by the Appellate Court Rules Committee, the new rule would allow victims to submit statements and present during appellate oral arguments.

The Florida Public Defender Association and Tallahassee attorney Robert Berry objected, saying Marsy’s Law did not create any right for victims to participate in appeals and the committee’s proposal was a substantive matter interpreting the amendment that should not be addressed in a rules case.