FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  

February 6, 201 

Media Contact:

Katherine North


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Legislation Calling for Creation of Victim’s Bill of Rights Has Overwhelming Support Across Kentucky


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (February 6, 2016) – Marsy’s Law for Kentucky, the advocate-driven effort to incorporate a victims’ bill of rights in the state constitution, has received overwhelming support and enthusiasm from thousands of individuals and organizations statewide. More than 19,000 Kentuckians from across the Commonwealth have pledged their support for equal rights for crime victims via an online petition. Marsy’s Law (Senate Bill 15 and House Bill 171) has also received endorsements from Kentucky’s most influential law enforcement, victim advocacy and healthcare organizations.

“This is the year to pass Marsy’s Law and show crime victims that we have heard their pleas for help,” said Marsy’s Law for Kentucky State Director, Ashlea Christiansen. “We have a tremendous amount of support from key advocates and state leaders who have stepped forward, demanding that Kentucky victims be treated fairly and protected by our state constitution.


The more than 19,000 Kentuckians who signed the petition are now represented as Marsy’s Law “purple pins” on the state map.= 

“Seeing those 19,000 purple pins, knowing each one was a Kentucky citizen who passionately took the time to go online and support crime victims, speaks volumes,” said Rep. Robert Benvenuti, sponsor of HB 171. “It’s time we listen to Kentuckians and stand arm-in-arm with crime victims.”

While most states provide crime victims with constitutional-level protections, Kentucky remains one of only 15 that does not. Once adopted by the voters, Marsy’s Law will grant constitutional rights to crime victims on par with those provided to the accused and convicted, including: 

  1. Right to be present at court proceedings.
  2. Right to be heard at plea, sentencing or any other proceeding in which the victim’s rights are implicated.
  3. Right to notification of the release or escape of the accused.
  4. Right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
  5. Right to reasonable protection from the accused.
  6. Right to be treated with fairness and respect for the victim’s safety, dignity and privacy.
  7. Right to due process and a meaningful role in the criminal justice system.
  8. Right to be informed of the constitutional rights afforded to victims of crime.
  9. Right to constitutional standing.

Marsy’s Law encourages all Kentuckians to show their support for crime victims by placing their purple pin on the map. This can be done by visiting searching for “Marsy’s Law for Kentucky” on Facebook. 

“Victims’ rights are just as important as the accused or convicted, and our criminal justice system needs to reflect that,” said Senator Whitney Westerfield, sponsor of SB 15. “We very much appreciate every organization and individual who supports this effort as we work to pass this legislation in 2017.”

A full list of Marsy’s Law Endorsements is below:

With the support of these state organizations and the 19,000-plus “purple-pins” Marsy’s Law is one step closer to providing a fair and balanced criminal justice system to Kentucky crime victims and their families.


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 15 states that does not provide crime victims with constitutional-level protections. To learn more or if you would like to sign the petition and add your “purple pin” to the map, you can do so here. Those wishing to join the coalition can do so here. Please visit, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.