Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin: Participates in annual sheriff’s conference

Contact: Myranda Tanck

Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin partners with the Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association​ for Winter Training Conference & Technology Show

MADISON – This week, Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin partnered with the Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association for the organization’s Winter Conference, a four-day event providing informational talks, workshops, and exhibits on a wide array of issues crucial to modern law enforcement. Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin participated in the annual event as part of its broader organizing efforts across the state as it fights to update the Wisconsin Constitution to ensure equal rights for crime victims.

“The strong support of Wisconsin’s law enforcement community has been absolutely integral to our coalition’s efforts to elevate victims’ rights,” said Luke Martz, Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin State Director, who attended the conference. “Wisconsin’s Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs encounter victims of crime every single day in their line of work, and I’m honored to have had the opportunity to speak with them about our efforts to guarantee the rights of these survivors.”

Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin announced the endorsement of the Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association along with the support of a number of the state’s prominent law enforcement organizations last year. Said Association President Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove, “Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs know firsthand the damage crime has on victims and Wisconsin communities. The Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association is proud to protect these victims of crime and support Marsy’s Law.”

Prominent endorsements from within the law enforcement community have made up a significant portion of Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin’s bipartisan coalition, with over 100 Chiefs of Police from across the state already joining the effort’s growing list of 200 key endorsements.

Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin, introduced as Assembly Joint Resolution 47/Senate Joint Resolution 53, is authored by Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) and Representative Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville). With broad support from lawmakers of both parties, the legislation passed through the State Senate and Assembly in 2017, and will now move forward to second consideration in the next legislative session.
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You can find facts on Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin’s bipartisan legislation below:

  • Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin follows a proud tradition in our state of protecting victims’ rights, unlike many other states. Wisconsin already has a constitutional amendment on victims’ rights that passed in 1993, and was the first state in the nation to pass a Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights. The state also is recognized as having some of the strongest statutory rights for victims in the country. This means the changes we are proposing are about making sure victims’ rights are truly equal alongside the constitutional rights of the accused – nothing more, nothing less.
  • Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin strengthens rights that already exist in Wisconsin. The proposed amendment would do two things: Elevate certain rights currently under state statute to be fully constitutional rights, and strengthen other rights that are already part of the Constitution.
  • Nearly 80 percent of Wisconsinites support updating our state Constitution to ensure equal rights for crime victims. A poll of Wisconsinites found that nearly 80 percent support updating our state Constitution to ensure equal rights for crime victims. More than 80 percent support a victim’s right to speak up at more points in the criminal justice process, and 68 percent said they were “more likely” to support a state legislative candidate who supported Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin. The bipartisan legislation must be passed in the state Legislature twice, then by voters at the ballot box.

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About Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin

Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin is a grassroots coalition that has developed a unique proposal to give victims of crime equal rights in our state, building on Wisconsin’s laws and history of leading on this issue. Marsy’s Law is named after Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas of California who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Only one week after her death, Marsy’s mother and brother, Henry T. Nicholas, walked into a grocery store where they were confronted by the accused murderer. The family, who had just come from a visit to Marsy’s grave, was unaware that the accused had been released on bail. In an effort to honor his sister, Dr. Nicholas has made it his life’s mission to give victims and their families constitutional protections and equal rights.

Victims and supporters interested in sharing their stories can email Wisconsin@marsyslaw.us.

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