The True Need for Marsy’s Law in Kentucky
I’m so fortunate that a large part of my job involves traveling across this beautiful state to connect with women and men who are excited about the chance to connect with and support our Marsy’s Law for Kentucky efforts. Some of the people that I meet are part of our amazing community of victims advocates across the state… the men and women who are on the front lines each day, serving some of our most vulnerable citizens. Others, are those who have suffered unimaginable hurt and heartache as the result of a crime.
As I continue my travels, I’m amazed by the stories of heartbreak, strength, and hope that I hear. I’m also shocked and brokenhearted to learn that so many of those I meet are unaware of the fact that victims in our state are not currently protected by our state constitution. Instead, victims in Kentucky are protected at a statutory level. Unfortunately, the statutory rights of victims are often trumped by the constitutional level protections that are afforded to the accused and convicted under our current constitution in a court of law.
What does that mean, though? That might mean that a rapist, who has the constitutional right to represent himself in court, will be able to cross-examine his victim, digging deeply into questions about his or her body and the crime that was committed, further prolonging the trauma they’ve experienced. Marsy’s Law would give the court the ability to curtail questions of a sensitive nature to protect the rights of the victim. This is just one example. I’m hearing countless stories from victims and their families all across our state, and it’s becoming more obvious than ever that Kentucky must take action to help provide victims in our state the same level of protections as the accused and convicted.
– Kristena Morse, Marsy’s Law for Kentucky State Director