Maui News

Marsy’s Law for Hawaiʻi Bills to Be Heard at Senate and House Hearings

February 9, 2016, 7:37 AM HST
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State Capitol photo by Wendy Osher.

State Capitol photo by Wendy Osher.

House and Senate committees in Hawaiʻi are scheduled to hear a bill today that aims to guarantee basic rights to crime victims during criminal proceedings.

The Constitutional Amendment for Victims’ Rights, also known as “Marsy’s Law” seeks to afford victims constitutional protections, ensuring that victims of violent crime have constitutional rights and a formal voice in the criminal justice process.

According to bill advocates, the measure was named after Marsy Ann Nicholas, a University of California Santa Barbara student, who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. A week after her murder, her brother and mother were reportedly confronted by the accused in a grocery store.

Bill advocates say her family had no idea the accused had been released on bail and remained free throughout the trial.

Supporters of the measure say Hawaiʻi remains one of just 18 states without the constitutional provision giving equal and enforceable rights to victims.

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The group Marsy’s Law for Hawaiʻi has been circulating a petition asking voters to support a constitutional amendment and has received nearly 1,000 signatures to date.

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Senate Bill 697 and 3034 are scheduled to be heard by the Senate Judiciary in a hearing set to start at 9:15 a.m. House Bill 1144 HD1 will be heard at 2 p.m. before the House Judiciary.

 

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