Leveling the playing field for victims in the criminal justice system
Leveling the playing field is the goal of Marsy’s Law for Pennsylvania. This legislation will elevate crime victims’ rights to the state constitutional level, addressing the current inequity between victims and those accused and convicted of crimes. By boosting victims’ rights to the constitutional level, we will hold those who violate victims’ rights accountable.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm said in a Fox43 interview that Marsy’s Law is the one piece of legislation that will make the biggest difference for Pennsylvania crime victims.
“Right now, [victims] have statutory rights, and they’re great and they work; however, when they are violated, we have zero remedy for them,” Storm said. “We are one of 15 states who do not have a constitutional amendment for crime victims, and we’re going to remedy that with Marsy’s Law.”
The Marsy's Law for All initiative has been introduced in 10 states, and it has passed in five. As Marsy’s Law is making its way from California to Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania is a pivotal stop along the way.
State Sen. Guy Reschenthaler and Marsy’s Law for PA Campaign Director Jen Riley were guests on “Behind the Headlines” to talk about why passing Marsy’s Law is crucial for victims in Pennsylvania.
“Within the whole criminal justice process, the one person in the courtroom that did not choose to be there is the victim,” Reschenthaler said. “The fact that we don’t have constitutional provisions for the victim who is dragged into the system is just beyond me — and it’s time that we fix the problem.”
“Marsy’s Law provides the right for the crime victim or the crime victim survivor to be heard, to be present and to be informed,” Riley said. “There are some states where people are less fortunate than crime victims are in Pennsylvania, [because] some states don’t have those rights. We do. We are just now going to elevate them.”
Crime victims have gone through enough. They deserve rights that are equal to those who perpetrated the crime.