On Tuesday, November 5, Pennsylvanians will have the opportunity to vote on a proposed amendment to the state Constitution aimed at strengthening the rights of crime victims.

 

The question reads: “Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to grant certain rights to crime victims, including to be treated with fairness, respect and dignity; considering their safety in bail proceedings; timely notice and opportunity to take part in public proceedings; reasonable protection from the accused; right to refuse discovery requests made by the accused; restitution and return of property; proceedings free from delay; and to be informed of these rights, so they can enforce them?”

 

The question is being placed on the ballot after lawmakers approved legislation known as “Marsy’s Law” in two consecutive legislative sessions.

 

Marsy’s Law is named after Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas of California. She was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Days later, her mother and brother were confronted by the accused murderer in a grocery store. They were not informed Marsy’s murderer had been released because the courts and law enforcement had no obligation to keep them informed.

For more information on victims rights laws in Pennsylvania, click here.

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