Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin Holds National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Events

Grassroots coalition members celebrate momentum towards final legislative passage of bipartisan victim rights legislation during national observance of victims’ rights

MADISON  Today, Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin held a series of events at the Wisconsin State Capitol to celebrate the momentum of the bipartisan legislation to strengthen the rights of crime victims. The events come as part of the grassroots organization’s recognition of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) and included a Survivors and Allies Lunch and an advocacy day that paired survivors and other supporters of the bipartisan legislation with their Senate and Assembly representatives from around the state.

The group kicked off the day with a press conference featuring bipartisan authors of the victims’ rights legislation, Attorney General Josh Kaul, and a number of prominent survivors and victims’ rights advocates. “It is Crime Victims’ Rights Week, and that is an excellent time to remind ourselves about the importance of having a justice system that understands that a critical part of what we do must be working to get justice for victims of crime. That we need to take a victim-centric approach as we work to fight crime” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “We need to remind ourselves of that this week, but we need to make sure that we are acting on that understanding every week of the year in our criminal justice system.”

NCVRW is an annual observance led by the U.S. Office of Justice Programs. The 2019 theme is “Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future.” 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. As part of this effort, the group is organizing a Go Purple campaign showcasing purple lights at landmarks across the state including the historic Brown County Courthouse and Milwaukee County Historical Society building, as well as a series of downtown Green Bay bridges.

Introduced for second consideration as Assembly Joint Resolution 1/Senate Joint Resolution 2 the bipartisan victims’ rights legislation known as Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin was authored by State Senators Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) and Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) and State Representatives Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville) and David Crowley (D-Milwaukee). With more than 50 listed cosponsors from both sides of the aisle, the bill was approved in January by committees in the Wisconsin State Senate and Assembly and is now available for scheduling for a full vote of each legislative chamber.

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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.