Marsy’s Law Constitutional Amendment Passes KY Senate
MARSY’S LAW CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PASSES KY SENATE
Crime victims’ bill of rights heads to State House
Frankfort, Ky. (January 10, 2018) – Kentucky crime victims scored a major victory in Frankfort today with the passage of SB3—the first step in attaining the equal rights they deserve. Marsy’s Law for Kentucky applauds the Kentucky Senate for swiftly passing Senate Bill 3 with a 34-1 vote. The amendment is sponsored by Sen. Whitney Westerfield of Hopkinsville.
Marsy’s Law, a constitutional amendment that would ensure victims of crime have rights equal to the accused and convicted, passed the Senate with overwhelming, bipartisan support. This is a tribute to the support of more than 35,000 petition signers and over 100 elected officials, advocacy organizations and law enforcement officials across Kentucky.
“Marsy’s Law has been my passion and my mission for the past two years. I could not be prouder to serve in a Senate that not only understands the importance of this legislation for Kentucky and our crime victims, but knows we can’t wait another minute,” Senator Whitney Westerfield, the primary bill sponsor, said. “We know Kentuckians support this and I hope our colleagues in the House agree and pass SB 3 to ensure crime victims across Kentucky have meaningful, enforceable rights.”
Kentucky is one of only 15 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.
“We are so grateful to the Kentucky Senate for hearing the voices of Kentuckians in every corner of our Commonwealth who support Marsy’s Law. Crime victims deserve the same level of rights and respect as the accused, and we thank them for bringing Marsy’s Law forward,” Marsy’s Law State Director Ashlea Christiansen said. “This wouldn’t be possible without our bill champion Senator Whitney Westerfield and the support of Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, Senate President Robert Stivers, and our many co-sponsors.”
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. Marsy’s Law is one step closer to providing a fair and balanced criminal justice system to Kentucky crime victims and their families and now moves to the House of Representatives where leaders have said it will be a major priority.
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.