Matt Larson, Youth Services Coordinator
This general election is giving Wisconsin voters an opportunity to vote on an amendment that will benefit crime victims, Marsy’s Law Crime Victims’ Rights Amendment. The hope is to bring the rights of the victims of crime to the same level as the rights of those who have been accused of committing the crime.
Family Advocates asks that you vote “No” to Marsy’s Law. The consequences could reduce the defense of the accused and/or create situations where perpetrators claim to be victims themselves and block the findings needed to convict.
Many concerns have come from other states that have ratified Marsy’s laws to their state constitutions. As mentioned above, these concerns have included perpetrators claiming to be victims of crimes committed by those they have victimized. One case of this was a South Dakota Trooper involved shooting where the trooper shot and killed a person. The trooper claimed a right to privacy in this instance due to himself being victimized by the individual he shot.
Other concerns include blocking the release of medical histories. In some cases, these medical histories can shed light on addictions, mental health, and other concerns that are contributing factors to the reports and defenses of the individual charged. While there are good intentions behind the Marcy’s Law amendments, many loopholes remain that could cause more harm than help at this point for both victims and defendants.
The question that will be posted on the ballot will read:
“Shall section 9m of article I of the constitution, which gives certain rights to crime victims, be amended to give crime victims additional rights, to require that the rights of crime victims be protected with equal force to the protections afforded the accused while leaving the federal constitutional rights of the accused intact, and to allow crime victims to enforce their rights in court?”
Vote "No" to Marsy's Law.