North Carolina is one of thirty-two states that have amended their constitutions to include rights for crime victims. In 1996, voters in North Carolina ratified a state victims' constitutional amendment with 78% of the vote.
The Amendment reads as follows:
Article 1, Section 37
- Basic Rights. Victims of crime, as prescribed by law, shall be entitled to the following basic rights:
- The right as prescribe by law to be informed of and to be present at court proceedings of the accused.
- The right to be heard at sentencing of the accused in a manner prescribed by law, and at other times as prescribed by law or deemed appropriate by the court.
- The right as prescribed by law to receive restitution.
- The right as prescribed by law to be given information about the crime, how the criminal justice system works, the rights of victims, and the availability of services for victims.
- The right as prescribed by law to receive information about the conviction or final disposition and sentence of the accused.
- The right as prescribed by law to receive notification of escape, release, proposed parole or pardon of the accused, or notice of a reprieve or commutation of the accused's sentence.
- The right as prescribed by law to present their views and concerns to the Governor or agency considering any action that could result in the release of the accused, prior to such action becoming effective.
- The right as prescribed by law to confer with the prosecution.
- No money damages; other enforcement. Nothing in this section shall be construed as creating a claim of money damages against the State, a county, a municipality, or any of the agencies, instrumentalities, or employees thereof. The General Assembly may provide for other remedies to ensure adequate enforcement of this section.
- No ground for relief in criminal case. The failure of inability of any person to provide a right or service provided under this section may not be used by a defendant in a criminal case, an inmate, or any other accused as a ground for relief in any trial, appeal, post-conviction litigation, habeas corpus, civil action, or any similar criminal or civil proceeding.