Proposed KY Constitutional Amendment

Everyone in Kentucky will vote on the proposed Constitutional amendment.

BALLOT QUESTION:

“Are you in favor of providing constitutional rights to victims of crime, including the right to be treated fairly, with dignity and respect, and the right to be informed and to have a voice in the judicial process?”

Summary

SummaryIntended to “secure for victims of criminal acts or public offenses justice and due process and to ensure crime victims a meaningful role throughout the criminal and juvenile justice systems,” adoption of the so-called “Marsy’s Law” would “amend the Constitution of Kentucky to create a victims’ bill of rights.” (Senate Bill 3 and LRC summary)

Background

Background: “The measure is named for a California college student who was stalked and killed by a former boyfriend in 1983. A week after the incident, Marsy’s mother encountered the murderer in her local grocery. She had not been notified of his release on bail.
California passed the original Marsy’s Law in 2008. Illinois, North and South Dakota, Montana, and Ohio have enacted similar laws, according to the Marsy’s Law for All website.” (KET)

Sponsored by Kentucky State Senator Whitney Westerfield (R-Dist. 3) and 25 cosponsors, “Marsy’s Law” (Senate Bill 3) was sent to the voters by an overwhelming majority of the Kentucky General Assembly (Senate 34-1 and House 87-3).

The Victims' Bill of Rights

A victim shall have the right to…
1) “…upon request, to timely notice of all proceedings and to be heard in any proceeding involving a release, plea, sentencing, or other matter involving the right of a victim other than grand jury proceedings;”
2) “…be present at the trial and all other proceedings, other than grand jury proceedings, on the same basis as the accused;”
3) “…proceedings free from unreasonable delay;”
4) “…consult with the attorney for the Commonwealth or the attorney’s designee;”
5) “…reasonable protection from the accused and those acting on behalf of the accused throughout the criminal and juvenile justice process;”
6) “…timely notice, upon request, of release or escape of the accused;”
7) “…have the safety of the victim and the victim’s family considered in setting bail, determining whether to release the defendant, and setting conditions of release after arrest and conviction;”
8) “…full restitution to be paid by the convicted or adjudicated party in a manner to be determined by the court, except that in the case of a juvenile offender the court shall determine the amount and manner of paying the restitution taking into consideration the best interests of the juvenile offender and the victim;”
9) “…fairness and due consideration of the crime victim’s safety, dignity, and privacy;”
10) “…be informed of these enumerated rights, and shall have standing to assert these rights.”

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