BOISE — A proposal to add protections for crime victims to the state Constitution is back.
The Senate State Affairs Committee voted unanimously and with no debate Friday morning to introduce “Marsy’s Law,” named after a California woman killed in 1983 by her ex-boyfriend after he was released from jail without her being notified. It would expand the section of the state Constitution that already deals with victims’ rights. It would add a right to notification of and to be heard at post-conviction proceedings or before a pardon is issued, or if an offender escapes; a right to “reasonable protection from the accused and those acting on behalf of the accused throughout the criminal justice process;” and would require these rights to be enforced.
The proposal passed the Senate in 2017 but died in the House State Affairs Committee; in 2018, it came up five votes short of the two-thirds support needed for a constitutional amendment in the House. Friday’s vote clears the way for another full hearing later.