[Madison, Wis.] – In case you missed it, the Racine Journal Times highlighted Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin’s upcoming legislative hearing tomorrow, including the strong support in the Racine area by State Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine), local survivors, and law enforcement for ensuring equal rights for crime victims by updating the state Constitution.
A hearing on the bipartisan legislation – which has the support of 42 Republicans and Democrats in the state Legislature – is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. tomorrow. You can read the story here, or find excerpts below:
Hearing on constitutional amendment set
By Mark Schaaf
Racine Journal Times
June 11, 2017
MADISON — A proposed constitutional amendment on victims’ rights, co-authored by state Sen. Van Wanggaard, will get its first hearing Thursday.
Known as Marsy’s Law, the legislation would elevate some victims’ statutory rights to be full constitutional rights, and strengthen other rights already part of the constitution.
Wanggaard said he hopes the hearing will help people understand the need for the law, which he said is to protect victims and witnesses throughout a court process.
Wanggaard is a former police officer who noted he’s also been in the position of a victim — his law enforcement career ended in 2001 following an on-duty crash.
“I’ve seen so many victims and so many witnesses where it just seems like they were abused in the process,” said Wanggaard, R-Racine. …
The bill must pass two consecutive legislative sessions and then be approved by voters to become law. It could be on the ballot as early as 2019.
The bill has a big Racine County backing. In addition to Wanggaard, victims’ rights advocate Teri Jendusa-Nicolai of Waterford and Sheriff Christopher Schmaling have been leading advocates for the legislation.
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.