Contact: Myranda Tanck

Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin supporters announce pledge for 2018 legislative candidates during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

MADISON – Today, Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers, Attorney General Brad Schimel, and a number of prominent victims’ rights advocates to announce the “Stand With Crime Victims” pledge and ask candidates for Wisconsin legislative office to make a commitment to support equal rights for crime victims.

The announcement comes during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW), an annual nationwide observance organized by the U.S. Office of Justice Programs. Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin is organizing a statewide recognition of NCVRW as part of its broader efforts to update the State Constitution to strengthen the rights of crime victims. The coalition in favor of the effort has already garnered broad bipartisan support in the legislature, more than 350 prominent endorsements, and thousands of signatories on the petition backing the effort.

“Wisconsin has long been a leader in advocating for the rights of crime victims. To continue this leadership role, I hope next year’s legislature will support and pass Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin,” said Attorney General Brad Schimel. “Our criminal justice system is stronger when crime victims are stronger, because their strength is the foundation for other crime victims to come forward and ultimately, helps us put more perpetrators behind bars.”

“We worked with stakeholders from all points of view and all political persuasions to craft the language that ultimately passed last year with overwhelming bipartisan support,” said Wisconsin Senator Van Wanggaard, lead Senate author of Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin’s bipartisan legislation. “The Legislature needs to finish the job quickly in 2019 so that the voters can adopt these new rights into our Constitution in April of next year.  Crime victims shouldn’t have to wait any longer for these important rights.”

“I am supporting this effort because victims deserve the right to be notified at all stages of criminal justice proceedings. They also deserve to have their voices heard throughout the process. By including these rights in our State Constitution, we will continue Wisconsin’s long history of working together to provide rights to crime victims,” said Wisconsin Senator Tim Carpenter, coauthor of the legislation.

The pledge reads, “I…believe that victims of crime deserve equal rights during the criminal justice process. I pledge, that if elected in November, I will support the update of the Wisconsin Crime Victims’ Rights Constitutional Amendment known as Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support on first consideration as 2017 Senate Joint Resolution 53. I further pledge that I will work to see Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin passes the Legislature on second consideration in early 2019 so that it can be put before voters on April 2, 2019 for ratification. Victims should not have to wait any longer for these rights.” The pledge will be available to all candidates for Wisconsin legislative office.

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