Wisconsin Law Enforcement Leaders Urge Support for Crime Victims’ Constitutional Amendment

Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin showcases support from law enforcement leaders, launches digital ad featuring Chiefs of Police from communities around Wisconsin

MADISON – A group of Wisconsin’s law enforcement leaders today urged support for the proposed crime victims’ constitutional amendment commonly known as Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin. The prominent members of Wisconsin’s law enforcement community represent the more than 300 Sheriffs, Police Chiefs, and other law enforcement members from communities throughout Wisconsin who have endorsed the bipartisan initiative. They are now urging community members to join in support for the proposed constitutional amendment as it heads to a statewide vote on April 7.

Sturtevant Chief Sean M. Marschke, Past President of the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association, said: “In my 25 years of law enforcement, I understand the horrific effects criminals leave on their victims. I believe as a state we need to work together to hold these criminals accountable and help give our victims a voice while they seek justice. I fully support Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin and urge you to support it with your vote on April 7th.”

Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association Past President, Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove, said: “Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs know firsthand the damage crime has on victims and Wisconsin communities. The Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association is proud to protect these victims of crime and ask that you support Marsy’s Law on April 7th.”

Chief Bob Kowalski, Edgerton Police Department, said: "I encourage the residents of Wisconsin to vote in favor of Marsy's Law in the April election. Your voice and vote matters, it will ensure that the victims of crimes will be properly informed and not become victims again.”

City of Wausau Chief of Police Ben Bliven said: “We all know about the constitutional rights afforded to those accused of crime in the criminal justice system. But the victims of crime deserve rights to justice and due process as well and victims’ rights should be vigorously defended.”

Walworth County Sheriff Kurt Picknell said: “Marsy’s Law will actually strengthen victims’ rights up to a constitutional level, offering equal protection. Wisconsin has always been a leader in victims’ rights and we can again with Marsy’s Law.”

Outagamie County District Attorney Melinda Tempelis said: “I think it’s important that we pass Marsy’s Law so that we can help support victims of crime in our communities and give them a voice. A yes vote on April 7 affords victims the opportunity to participate in the criminal justice system, have their voice be heard, and elevate their rights to a constitutional level so that their input can be valued, appreciated, and enforced.”

Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said: “Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin would be an empowering set of victim tools that we can all feel good about, and know that we can and will do more for victims in the state of Wisconsin. I hope all voters will join me in voting ‘Yes’ to Marsy’s Law on this spring’s ballot.”

As part of the effort, Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin has also released a thirty second digital video ad featuring Police Chiefs from communities around Wisconsin sharing their support for the proposed crime victims’ constitutional amendment. Nearly 150 Wisconsin Chiefs of Police have endorsed the bipartisan initiative. The ad will run on digital platforms throughout Wisconsin.

A full list of the more than 300 endorsements from Wisconsin’s law enforcement leaders is available on the Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin website, alongside the state’s prominent law enforcement organizations which have endorsed the measure, including:

  • Association of State Prosecutors
  • Badger State Sheriff’s Association
  • Dane County Chiefs of Police Association
  • Fraternal Order of Police
  • Milwaukee Police Association
  • Waukesha County Chiefs of Police Association
  • Wisconsin Sheriffs’ and Deputy Sheriffs’ Association
  • Wisconsin Association of Women Police
  • Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association
  • Wisconsin District Attorney's Association
  • Wisconsin Professional Police Association
  • Wisconsin Trooper's Association

Introduced for second consideration as Assembly Joint Resolution 1/Senate Joint Resolution 2 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.


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 [email protected].