‘Marsy’s Law’ amendment clears Assembly

QUORUM CALL

The Assembly signed off today 81-10 on a constitutional amendment that would add additional protections for crime victims.

Known as “Marsy’s Law,” the amendment has now cleared both houses of the Legislature, the first step before it could be added to the constitution. It would have to pass both houses again during the 2019-20 session before it could go to votes for a referendum.

Rep. Fred Kessler, D-Milwaukee and a former judge, warned members the proposal conflicts with the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee that the accused can confront their accusers in court. Under the amendment, a victim would be able to refuse to any interview, deposition or other discovery request from the accused.

“It is inappropriate for us to do that knowing that that’s an impediment for justice,” Kessler.

Co-author Rep. Todd Novak, R-Dodgeville, countered the amendment makes “crystal clear” none of the victims’ rights can supercede a defendant’s constitutional protections.

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