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Ballot question would change constitution by giving more rights to crime victims

Posted by wlpo on October 28, 2014

Before you even get to the governor’s race or other elected officials on the ballot, you’ll be asked to vote on five statewide referenda questions including one called Marsy’s Law.

The Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights amendment enforces victim’s rights including letting a victim have the right to speak during court proceedings besides just a sentencing hearing. Prosecutors would also be required to tell victims when a defendant is sentenced, released, or imprisoned. It would also give victims the right to object to a defendant trying to get personal information like mental health records or journals.

La Salle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne supports the amendment. He says often so much attention is paid to giving defendant’s a right to a fair trial that victim’s are overlooked.

Marsy’s Law is named after a California law student who was stalked and killed by an ex-boyfriend. The law covers victims of all violent crimes not just domestic ones.

In order to pass, at least three-fifths of voters must say yes to the question. Changes to the constitution take effect immediately.

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