Marsy’s Law for Kentucky Calls Upon House to Pass SB175 on Final Day of Session

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MARSY’S LAW FOR KENTUCKY CALLS UPON HOUSE TO PASS SENATE BILL 175 ON FINAL DAY OF SESSION

Kentuckians gathered today to urge the House to call the critical legislation for a vote

Frankfort Marsy’s Law for Kentucky, the advocate-driven effort to enact a Victims’ Bill of Rights in the Kentucky Constitution, hosted a press conference in support of Senate Bill 175 at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort this afternoon.

The press conference was a show of support for the passage of Senate Bill 175, proposed legislation that is just one vote away from passing in the House of Representatives. The measure has already passed the Senate with overwhelming support.

Among the speakers at the press conference was Senator Whitney Westerfield (R-Hopkinsville), the bill’s primary sponsor, who said, “Crime victims in Kentucky are not presumed victims, the accused are presumed innocent but victims are victims. These rights do not infringe on the rights of the accused but rather compliment them. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, ‘Justice cannot be for one side but must be for both,’ and that is what Senate Bill 175 is all about.”   

If passed, Senate Bill 175 would put a Victims’ Bill of Rights on the ballot for a public vote this November. A recent poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and Analzone Liszt Grove Research found that 80% of voters in Kentucky said they would vote in favor of the amendment should it be placed on the ballot. Additionally, over 1700 Kentuckians signed a recent petition that was delivered to House members urging them the pass the measure this session.

“No one should have to endure such senseless crimes and be made to live in fear,” said Michelle Kupier, a Kentucky victim who also spoke at the press conference this afternoon. “But another crime is committed when we don’t have constitutional rights that protect victims and their families. What message are we sending to victims of these senseless crimes when the rights of criminals are more protected than the rights of the accused?” 

Victims who attended the press conference donned purple Marsy’s Law for Kentucky t-shirts and held signs bearing the messages: “Support Marsy’s Law for Kentucky” and “Vote Yes on SB 175.” 

“Kentucky is one of only 18 states that currently has no constitutional level rights for victims. Our justice system time-and-time again prioritizes the rights of the accused and convicted, while putting the rights of victims on the backburner,” said Kristena Morse, State Director for Marsy’s Law for Kentucky. “Kentuckians all over the Commonwealth are asking our lawmakers to please prioritize the rights of crime victims before adjourning the session.”

The last opportunity for passage for Senate Bill 175 will be tomorrow, Tuesday, April 12, the last day of the Kentucky General Assembly.

For more information on Marsy’s Law for Kentucky visit www.marsyslaw.us.

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