New Information Available for Victims, Public, Law Enforcement on Victims’ Rights Implementation Amid Pandemic
Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin praises Wisconsin Department Of Justice victims’ rights resources
MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Justice has provided new resources as statewide implementation of Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin is underway. The approved crime victims constitutional amendment commonly known as Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin went into effect earlier this month after the measure was approved with an overwhelming 75 percent of Wisconsin residents casting votes in favor of the amendment.
The Department of Justice Office of Crime Victim Services (OCVS) has made information available for law enforcement, crime victims, and members of the public about the new victims’ rights amendment, as well as guidance on application of victims’ rights during various stages of the legal process. The information can be found at: https://www.doj.state.wi.us/ocvs.
“We’re thrilled to see these resources available from the Office of Crime Victim Services,” said Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin Outreach Director Nela Kalpic. “We know how confusing the legal system can be for victims, and how crucial information is to navigating that system under normal circumstances—that concern is even greater during the current public health crisis. We encourage law enforcement agencies around the state to utilize these helpful tools as they notify victims’ about their constitutionally guaranteed rights.”
The available resources include a list of Wisconsin’s constitutional rights for crime victims, as well as fillable and editable updated victim information forms for use by law enforcement agencies. OCVS also has various resources available at the same location aimed specifically at COVID-19 response for victims, law enforcement, and victim service organizations.
Over 1.1 million Wisconsin residents cast votes in favor of the crime victims’ constitutional amendment in the spring election, approving the measure with a vast margin of more than 700,000 votes. The amendment was approved in 2019 for placement on the April 2020 ballot after passing the Wisconsin State Senate and Assembly with broad bipartisan support in two consecutive legislative sessions. The overwhelming ratification vote marked the final procedural step for the now approved constitutional amendment.
About Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin
Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin is a grassroots coalition that 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.