40,000 Kentuckians Pledge Their Support for Marsy’s Law

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Katherine Kington North

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40,000 KENTUCKIANS PLEDGE THEIR SUPPORT FOR MARSY’S LAW 

Tens of thousands of Kentuckians calling for General Assembly to pass crime victims’ bill of rights in 2018

Frankfort, Ky. (January 23, 2018) – A staggering number of Kentuckians from across the Commonwealth are speaking with one voice, calling upon our elected leaders in Frankfort to pass Marsy’s Law (Senate Bill 3) in 2018. Nearly 40,000 Kentuckians have taken to social media to add their name to the long and growing list of those who support equal rights for crime victims.

Marsy’s Law for Kentucky, an effort to codify a Victims’ Bill of Rights in the Kentucky Constitution, continues gaining strong momentum and bipartisan support after having overwhelmingly passed the Kentucky Senate, the first bill to do so in 2018. The bill also passed the House Committee on Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Intergovernmental Affairs yesterday and is expected to move to the House floor sometime this week. 

Marsy’s Law has been a priority bill since session began, with prominent local leaders, organizations, and advocates urging the General Assembly to pass the Victims’ Bill of Rights in 2018. 

“We are overwhelmed by the support from Kentucky victims, advocates, state leaders and citizens who understand the importance of passing a constitutional victims’ bill of rights in 2018,” Marsy’s Law for Kentucky State Director Ashlea Christiansen said. “With each day, we are more confident that Kentuckians will have the opportunity to vote on this, come November.”

Kentucky is one of only 14 states without constitutional-level rights for victims of crime. If adopted by Kentucky voters in November 2018, Marsy’s Law would amend Kentucky’s constitution 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.

“I am proud the Senate made this the first bill passed in 2018. It reflects a widespread commitment to assigning more dignity to victims as they navigate the criminal justice system,” Marsy’s Law Senate Bill Sponsor Sen. Whitney Westerfield said. “I am so grateful for each and every Kentuckian who has weighed in with their support. I know the citizens of the Commonwealth are ready for this to be on their November ballot, so they may vote YES to equal rights for crime victims.”

Voters strongly favor Marsy’s Law, with recent surveys showing nearly 80% of Kentuckians support amending the state constitution to ensure equal rights for crime victims. 

A list of the victims’ advocates, law enforcement and organizations that endorse Marsy’s Law can be found here. With the support of these endorsers and the nearly 40,000-plus petition signers, Marsy’s Law is one step closer to providing a fair and balanced criminal justice system to Kentucky crime victims and their families.

 

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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 one of only 14 states that do not provide crime victims with constitutional-level protections. A list of the victims’ advocates, law enforcement, and organizations that endorse Marsy’s Law can be found here. Those wishing to join the coalition can do so here. Please visit www.marsyslaw.us, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.