Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin Denounces Baseless Attack on Victims’ Rights
Coalition of survivors and allies vows to continue effort towards 2020 vote on crime victims constitutional amendment
MADISON – Today a group of national and Wisconsin political organizations announced a baseless attack on the Wisconsin proposal to update the state Constitution to ensure equal rights for crime victims, known as Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin. Introduced for second consideration as Assembly Joint Resolution 1/Senate Joint Resolution 2 the bipartisan victims’ rights legislation was approved earlier this year for placement on the April 2020 ballot after passing the Wisconsin State Senate and Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support in two consecutive legislative sessions.
Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin State Chair, Teri Jendusa-Nicolai, who became one of the state’s most prominent victims’ rights advocates after surviving a brutal attack by her ex-husband, released the following statement:
“I was deeply disappointed to hear today’s announcement of this baseless attack on victims’ rights in Wisconsin, and I know that survivors all over the Badger State share my frustration. This suit represents a desperate effort to subvert the democratic process by an organization which has lost every public argument on this issue.
“This organization and their allies tried and failed to stop the momentum for Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin when it passed the state Legislature not once, but twice, with broad support on both sides of the aisle. Now with the April 2020 vote quickly approaching, they know that an overwhelming majority of Wisconsin residents support strengthening victims’ rights. Rather than allowing the voters to have their say this April, they have launched this desperate attempt to derail this effort through drawn-out legal delays that will waste taxpayer dollars.
“The suit announced today fails to address the merits of the proposed victims’ rights amendment, which was carefully crafted through a collaborative process alongside all of the relevant stakeholders to ensure that it was a good fit for Wisconsin, a state which has in the past led the nation on support for victims’ rights. Instead, this suit attempts to knock down this hugely popular initiative on procedural grounds.
“Victims of crime often feel revictimized by our legal system. With today’s suit, that sad fact that we as survivors and advocates know all too well takes on a new meaning. The incredible coalition of Wisconsin victims and advocates backing this proposal will not be deterred by baseless legal attacks. We’re survivors, and we’re confident that this desperate attack will be defeated here as it has been before, and that we will see stronger victims’ rights enacted here in Wisconsin.”
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.