Separating Myth from Fact – Volume 2
Welcome to the second post in our series which seeks to present the facts about Marsy’s Law for Montana and correct some of the misinformation that we’ve encountered. You can view our first post here.
Myth #3: Montana already provides statutory rights for victims of crime. There is no reason why we should amend our Constitution.
Victims of crime are the persons most directly impacted by crime. They deserve to have rights that are recognized at the highest level just as are the rights of those accused or convicted of crime. When victims’ rights are only statutory—but defendants have constitutional rights—they are always necessarily second class citizens. Elevating victims’ rights to the Constitution doesn’t diminish a single right that a defendant has, it just means that a court must consider both the victim and the defendant when making a decision.
Myth #4: Prosecutors already protect victims’ rights.
The statutory protections for victims in Montana sometimes are not enough. Prosecutors do not represent the victim, and in our system victims deserve the right to be able to share their perspectives as the ones impacted by crime.
Under Marsy’s Law, victims do not become a party to the case. The prosecutor remains in control over the case and makes all the decisions in the prosecution of the crime. Marsy’s Law recognizes that the victim is the individual most affected by the crime and interested in the outcome of the prosecution.
Please check back again soon to learn more facts about Marsy’s Law for Montana and visit our page to find out how you can get involved!