What They’re Saying: Marsy’s Law For Wisconsin Makes Communities Safer



February 27, 2018

Contact: Myranda Tanck

[email protected]

What They’re Saying: Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin Makes Communities Safer

Security experts attribute safety of Wisconsin communities to Badger State’s deep commitment to fighting crime—and caring for crime victims

MADISON  This week, home security company Safewise issued an annual list of the 20 safest cities in Wisconsin, recognizing the state for its notable below-average crime rates compared to those of the nation. Chief among the factors that Safewise considered in their analysis, the company cited the recent passage of Marsy’s Law and Wisconsin’s overall commitment to protecting crime victims as a key reason for the state’s impressive crime statistics.

You can read the full report on Safewise’s Wisconsin’s 20 Safest Cities of 2018 here or read excerpts below:

“Wisconsin is famous for its cheese, but we think its low-crime cities deserve recognition of their own…

Like the twenty cities on our list, Wisconsin exemplifies a deep commitment to fighting crime—and caring for crime victims. Not only was The Badger State the first in the nation to implement a crime victim bill of rights, it’s also adopted a constitutional amendment to ensure victims are kept up-to-date about their accuser’s case. Taking victim advocacy one step further, the Wisconsin Senate recently passed Senate Joint Resolution 53 (also known as Marsy’s Law) which aims to strengthen crime victims’ rights under the Wisconsin constitution.”

Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin, introduced as Assembly Joint Resolution 47/Senate Joint Resolution 53, is authored by Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) and Representative Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville). With broad support from lawmakers of both parties, the legislation passed through the State Senate and Assembly in 2017, and will now move forward to second consideration in the next legislative session.


You can find facts on Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin’s bipartisan legislation below:

  • Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin follows a proud tradition in our state of protecting victims’ rights, unlike many other states. Wisconsin already has a constitutional amendment on victims’ rights that passed in 1993, and was the first state in the nation to pass a Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights. The state also is recognized as having some of the strongest statutory rights for victims in the country. This means the changes we are proposing are about making sure victims’ rights are truly equal alongside the constitutional rights of the accused – nothing more, nothing less.
  • Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin strengthens rights that already exist in Wisconsin. The proposed amendment would do two things: Elevate certain rights currently under state statute to be fully constitutional rights, and strengthen other rights that are already part of the Constitution.
  • Nearly 80 percent of Wisconsinites support updating our state Constitution to ensure equal rights for crime victims. A poll of Wisconsinites found that nearly 80 percent support updating our state Constitution to ensure equal rights for crime victims. More than 80 percent support a victim’s right to speak up at more points in the criminal justice process, and 68 percent said they were “more likely” to support a state legislative candidate who supported Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin. The bipartisan legislation must be passed in the state Legislature twice, then by voters at the ballot box.


About Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin

Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin is a grassroots coalition that has developed a unique proposal to give victims of crime equal rights in our state, building on Wisconsin’s laws and history of leading on this issue. Marsy’s Law is named after Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas of California who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Only one week after her death, Marsy’s mother and brother, Henry T. Nicholas, walked into a grocery store where they were confronted by the accused murderer. The family, who had just come from a visit to Marsy’s grave, was unaware that the accused had been released on bail. In an effort to honor his sister, Dr. Nicholas has made it his life’s mission to give victims and their families constitutional protections and equal rights.

Victims and supporters interested in sharing their stories can email [email protected].

Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin can be found on our website, Twitter, and Facebook.