Members of Wisconsin’s Congressional Delegation Urge Support for Crime Victims’ Constitutional Amendment
MADISON – Members of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation today urged support for the proposed crime victims’ constitutional amendment known as Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin. The bipartisan victims’ rights legislation was approved in 2019 for placement on the April 2020 ballot after passing the Wisconsin State Senate and Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support in two consecutive legislative sessions. The upcoming April 7 ratification vote marks the final step in the approval process for the proposed constitutional amendment.
“Enshrining strong, enforceable rights for victims of crime in our Wisconsin Constitution will help survivors navigate the complicated criminal justice process and ensure their voices are always heard,” said Congressman Bryan Steil (WI-01). “I encourage a yes vote during this spring election on additional rights for crime victims.”
“It’s been my experience that the criminal justice system in Wisconsin too often benefits the accused, as well as employees of the criminal justice system, and the victims themselves are left behind,” added Congressman Glenn Grothman (WI-06), “I, therefore, understand the necessity of Marsy’s Law.”
“I am pleased to join law enforcement leaders, victim service organizations and, most importantly, the brave survivors who are fighting to give additional rights to crime victims in our Wisconsin Constitution. The proposed amendment will help make sure crime victims are no longer pushed aside in the criminal justice process,” said Congressman Mike Gallagher (WI-08).
Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin has earned broad bipartisan support from across the political spectrum. After a lengthy and rigorous vetting process in the Legislature, the amendment passed in 2017 and 2019 with 87 percent of lawmakers voting yes.
The measure has been endorsed by the current Attorney General Josh Kaul, a Democrat, and the former Attorney General Brad Schimel, a Republican, alongside over 400 criminal justice system stakeholders including victim service agencies like the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault, every statewide law enforcement group, community advocates like the NAACP-Milwaukee and hundreds of individual police chiefs, sheriffs and district attorneys. A full list of endorsements is available on the Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin website.
About Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin
Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin is a grassroots coalition that is advocating for a unique proposal to give victims of crime equal rights in our state Constitution, building on Wisconsin’s laws and history of leading on this issue. The proposal passed with strong bipartisan support in the Legislature and will be before voters for ratification on April 7, 2020. 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.