By Ana Martinez-Ortiz
When a heinous crime occurs, there’s usually some media coverage to follow. It’s not unusual to see the same story played out on several stations or printed in several publications. Depending on the crime, it could be talked about for days or weeks, but then something else will occur and the media along with its consumers will move on.
But not everyone can move on. For the victims and their friends and families, moving on isn’t always that simple; and unfortunately, the system doesn’t always make it easier. And that’s where something such as Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin would come in.
According to its website, equalrightsforwi.com, Marsy’s Law is about creating equal rights for victims of crime. Essentially, Marsy’s Law is an amendment to Wisconsin’s current constitution that would give equal rights to victims during the criminal justice process.
In a system that’s often confusing to victims and the accused alike, Marsy’s Law would provide victims with protection and a voice.
Marsy’s Law began in California, after a young woman, Marsy Nicholas, was murdered. Nicholas’s mother and brother were at the grocery store when they ran into Nicholas’s ex-boyfriend who had been accused of stalking and killing her. The Nicholas family was unaware that the accused had been released as the court was not required to inform them. But, Marsy’s Law changed that.
According to Ballotpedia, Marsy’s Law proposes 14 enumerated rights. The rights include: being notified of criminal proceedings and outcomes such as the release, escape or death of the alleged criminal, the right to privacy, the right to be present at criminal proceedings and hearings, the right to a timely disposition and many more.
As of right now, some of these rights already exist in the Wisconsin Constitution but Marsy’s Law would strengthen these rights as well as add to them. Currently, 13 states have passed Marsy’s Law with California, Illinois and Florida among them. Wisconsin could be next, but the decision resides in the hands of the voters.
On Tuesday, April 7, the Spring General Election is expected to take place. Voters have the option of early voting, absentee voting and day of voting. Regardless of which option they choose, each voter will receive a ballot that has the referendum on it.
Voters will be asked to vote Yes or No in regard to Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin. A yes vote signifies a voter’s support to amend Wisconsin’s Constitution.
To learn more about Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin, individuals are encouraged to go to equalrightsforwi.com.
The General Spring Election is scheduled for Tuesday, April 7. In light of recent events, Milwaukee residents are being encouraged to vote absentee or vote early. To request an absentee ballot, residents can go to myvote.wi.gov.