SmartTalk WITF: Why Do Crime Victims Need an Amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution?
In 1998, the Pennsylvania Crime Victims Act was passed to create statutory rights for victims.
However, over the past two decades, it has become clear that statutory rights are insufficient and illusory because, if the rights are violated, there is no recourse for a victim. Victims deserve to have constitutional protections, just as those who are accused and convicted do.
Pennsylvania is one of only nine states that doesn't have constitutional protection for crime victims and their families.
Statutory rights are rights without remedies.
Marsy’s Law for PA State Director Jennifer Riley, alongside Sen. John Sabatina and Victim Advocate for the Commonwealth of PA Jennifer Storm, sat down with “Smart Talk WITF” to discuss Marsy’s Law.
During the interview, Storm said the Pennsylvania Office of Victim Advocate has been tracking crime victims’ rights violations. She explained the challenge: Do crime victims really have rights if they cannot be enforced?
“If we value crime victims’ voices, we need to enforce their rights and give them remedies if their rights are not followed,” Storm said.
To listen to the full interview, please visit click here.