Florida Amendment 6: Victims' rights

Tarpon Springs police officer Charles Kondek was gunned down just before Christmas 2014. He left behind six children and his wife Teresa, who is now campaigning for passage of Florida's Amendment 6. 

The amendment would put additional rights for victims in the Florida Constitution. She says she would have liked to tell the jury about her loss as they decided the fate of her husband's confessed killer, Marco Antonio Parilla Jr.

"I wish I could have told them how huge Charlie's life was, how much he meant to us, and what our life has been like without him," said Teresa. 

The killer was allowed to apologize for his actions in front of the jury. That same jury would vote 10-2 for Parilla to get the death penalty, but it had to be unanimous for the death sentence to be handed down. 
Teresa believes it might have been unanimous if she had been allowed to speak. She believes the rights of the accused  outweighed the rights of the victims.

Amendment 6 would give victims the right to be heard, require that they be notified of proceedings and be protected from the accused. 

The amendment is supported by 37 Florida sheriffs. 

It's opposed by The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, the League of Women Voters, and Florida's public defenders. They say it would limit the time the accused have to appeal and remove provisions that say victim's rights can't infringe on the rights of the accused.  

Teresa says nothing can bring her husband back, but passage of this amendment could help others in her situation. 

"If it helps them, maybe they won't have to go through what we did. That's my hope anyway," she added.