HARRISBURG -- The American Civil Liberties Union and League of Women Voters are expected to hold a press conference on Thursday (10/10/19) regarding a question you will see on your ballot during the November election.
The question surrounds a victim’s bill of rights known as Marsy’s Law. It would provide crime victims with a bill of their rights in the state constitution and would ensure that crime victims receive information about criminal cases and much more.
You will be asked to vote "yes" or "no" to the Marsy’s Law bill during the November 5th Municipal Election.
Marsy's law was named after Marsalee Nicholas. Nicholas was a UC Santa Barbara student who was murdered. It was first passed in California in 2007.
It passed after Marsalee's family was confronted by her alleged killer, who they did not know was out on bail.
Critics, including the ACLU and League of Women Voters, believe Marsy's law could violate the rights of the accused to a fair trial.
Supporters, including Governor Tom Wolf and State Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm, say it would mandate that victims are given the opportunity to be present in the courtroom.
This is a look at question about Marsy’s Law as you will see it on the November ballot.
“Shall the Pennsylvania constitution be amended to grant certain rights to crime victims including to be treated with fairness, respect and dignity; considering their safety in bail proceedings; timely notice and opportunity to take part in public proceedings; reasonable protection from the accused; right to refuse discovery requests made by the accused; restitution and return of property; proceedings free from delay; and to be informed of these rights, so they can enforce them."
A yes vote means approval of the amendment.
A no vote means you disapprove of the amendment.
Pennsylvania is currently one of nine states that does not provide constitutional protections to the rights of crime victims.
Thursdays press conference will take place at the Capitol Main Rotunda at 11:30am.