Kentucky Voters Overwhelmingly Support Adding Marsy's Law to State Constitution
KENTUCKY VOTERS OVERWHELMINGLY SUPPORT ADDING MARSY’S LAW TO STATE CONSTITUTION
Voters clearly endorse equal rights for crime victims
Louisville, Ky. (November 6, 2018) – Kentucky voters spoke loud and clear on Election Day declaring their strong support for adding Marsy’s Law to the state’s constitution. After a three-year educational campaign, voters overwhelmingly agreed that victims should be afforded rights equal to those already provided to the accused and convicted
By a clear majority, Kentuckians voted to add a Victims’ Bill of Rights to the state’s constitution, providing crime victims the dignity and respect they deserve. The fate of Marsy’s Law now rests with the nine members of the Kentucky Supreme Court.
If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Marsy’s Law, Kentucky’s constitution will be amended to ensure crime victims have the right to a voice in the judicial process, the right to be present in judicial hearings and the right to be made aware of upcoming hearings or changes in their offenders’ status, among others. Kentucky is one of only a handful of states without such rights for victims of crime.
“At its core, Marsy’s Law for Kentucky is about fairness and equality for all, and I’m proud to see Kentuckians vote to add this to our constitution,” said Ashlea Christiansen, Marsy’s Law for Kentucky State Director. “From this day forward, I hope the criminal justice system will no longer be a place of confusion and further re-victimization, but rather a place of hope and healing for victims.”
The lone constitutional amendment on Kentucky’s ballot is a bipartisan effort widely supported by an extensive and impressive list of victims’ advocacy organizations, law enforcement officers, elected officials, along with thousands of individual Kentuckians. Marsy’s Law was also the first bill to pass the Kentucky General Assembly in 2018, with overwhelming, bipartisan support in both chambers.
“This is a historic day for Kentucky. Kentuckians have spoken and clearly recognize the need for constitutional rights for crime victims,” said Whitney Westerfield, Marsy’s Law for Kentucky Bill Sponsor. “I certainly hope the Kentucky Supreme Court rules in favor of this important and necessary amendment. It is clear that voters support equal rights for crime victims.”
“No one chooses to be a victim of crime. It can happen to anyone and when it strikes, they’re forced to navigate a complex and confusing criminal justice system that’s not looking out for them. I’m grateful to see Kentuckians have voted to improve that. Marsy’s Law promotes equal rights and proper support for people who have suffered a loss.” – Steve Riggs, District 31 State Representative
“Too often, crime victims are re-traumatized by the very system that is supposed to protect them. With this vote, we can make the criminal justice system a place of empowerment, where victims are invited to use find their voice again and play a meaningful role in the process.” - Eileen A. Recktenwald, Executive Director, Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc.
“For 37 years I have had to place calls almost weekly to my local attorney’s office to ask about my sister’s murder case. With this vote, I am hopeful that will be no longer be the story of victims and their families. I’m proud to have been a part of this campaign, and even prouder to see Kentuckians vote overwhelmingly for Marsy’s Law.” – Mona Mills, Sister of Louisville Murder Victim
“These constitutional rights will balance the scales of justice and provide victims with the same level rights as the accused. I’m proud that Kentuckians voted to ensure all crime victims in Kentucky are universally treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.” –Charles L. Korzenborn, Kenton County Sheriff
About Marsy’s Law for Kentucky
Marsy’s Law for Kentucky is an advocate-driven effort to incorporate a victims’ bill of rights in the state constitution. Kentucky is in the minority of states without constitutional-level rights for victims of crime. Please visit www.victimsrightsky.com, and follow us on Facebook or Twitter.