ICYMI: WTAQ Radio - Marsy's Law is Now The Law, But What Does It Mean?
Interview looks at the impact for victims now that Marsy’s Law is the law of the land in Wisconsin
MADISON – In case you missed it, Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin Outreach Director Nela Kalpic was recently interviewed by WTAQ’s Rob Sussman about the recent implementation of the new crime victims’ rights state constitutional amendment commonly known as Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin. A survivor herself, Nela has devoted herself to helping other survivors, and has been recognized for her advocacy for victims of domestic abuse. She was awarded the Courage Award by former Gov. Scott Walker and serves on the Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse.
Marsy's Law is Now The Law, But What Does It Mean?
May 26, 2020
Marsy's Law is now the law of the land in Wisconsin after an overwhelming number of voters voted to approve the constitutional amendment during the April 7th election.
Just under 75% of voters approved the constitutional amendment, which grants additional rights to crime victims.
"What it means are that victims are entitled to notice, presence, and an opportunity to be heard," Nela Kalpic, the outreach coordinator for Marsy's Law Wisconsin, told WTAQ. "It does give them the right to stand up for themselves when they believe their rights are or about to be violated...they have a stronger voice, and that's important."
Among the rights now granted to victims is the right to be notified if an alleged perpetrator is released on bond. Victims will also get more opportunities to be heard during criminal proceedings. The law supersedes a similar 1993 amendment.
Marsy's Law is named for Marsy Nicholas, who was stalked and murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 1983.
"Only a week after Marsy was murdered, her mother and brother walked into a grocery store and were confronted by the accused murder," Kalpic explained.
Kalpic, a survivor of an abusive marriage, says the law means something to her, personally.
"What [it] means, really, is freedom."
About Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin
Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin is a grassroots coalition that championed 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. The crime victims’ rights state constitutional amendment, also known as Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin, was ratified during the April 7, 2020 election with an overwhelming 75 percent of voters in support. 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.