A coalition of Idaho state lawmakers, law enforcement leaders, victim advocates and crime victims kicked off a statewide campaign Monday for the passage of Marsy’s Law in Idaho, a nationwide initiative updating and strengthening crime victims’ rights.
The proposed constitutional amendment would build upon the Victims’ Rights Amendment Idaho voters approved in 1994, organizers said. New provisions include additional notification for victims, giving victims a stronger voice in the justice system and putting those rights on an equal footing with those afforded to defendants, they added.
“We have the need and opportunity in Idaho to strengthen crime victims’ rights in our constitution. The victims must have an opportunity to have their voices heard and considered in the criminal justice system,” said Sen. Todd Lakey, R-Nampa, the Marsy’s Law for Idaho sponsor in the Senate. “Crime victims in Idaho are constitutionally protected like those of the accused or convicted,” Lakey said.
Supporters held a press conference at the Statehouse Monday to announce their campaign.
Marsy’s Law has recently received endorsements from the Idaho Sheriff’s Association and the Idaho Fraternal Order of Police, which represents more than 1,800 law enforcement officers statewide.
“It’s important to understand that Marsy’s Law for Idaho has been written by Idahoans specifically to address the needs of victims in our state,” said Rep. Brent Crane, R-Nampa. “Marsy’s Law is a priority for me in the 2018 session and I look forward to working with my fellow legislators to pass this important amendment.”
Marsy’s Law for Idaho is affiliated with the national advocacy group, Marsy’s Law for All, which is dedicated to strengthening victims’ rights across the country. Marsy’s Law has been approved by lawmakers and voters in several states and the campaign is currently working in eight other states to enhance victims’ rights.