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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 3, 2018 10:29 AM
From: Senator John P. Sabatina, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Marsy's Law - Crime Victims' Bill of Rights Constitutional Amendment
Soon, I intend to introduce legislation that will continue the process of amending the Pennsylvania Constitution to include a crime victims’ bill of rights.

Senate Bill 1011 (aka “Marsy’s Law”) from last session, was unanimously passed and signed by both the House and Senate. However, as a proposed constitutional amendment, we must repeat the process by moving the bill through both chambers in its identical form in consecutive sessions. By doing so, it will allow the bill to go before voters as a ballot referendum.

By passing this constitutional amendment, Pennsylvania will ensure that crime victims are allowed to be an integral part of the system. The legislation requires that, for the criminal and juvenile justice systems, the enumerated rights of victims are to be protected no less vigorously than the rights afforded the accused. It stipulates that there be notice of hearings and other proceedings, protection from the accused, notice of release or escape, full and timely restitution, proceedings free from delays and with prompt conclusion, the ability to confer with the government’s attorney and information on all of these rights.

This Senate Bill will work in conjunction with its House companion, introduced by Rep. Sheryl Delozier, to move us one step closer to approving this constitutional amendment.

It is with the full support of the Pennsylvania Office of Victim Advocate, the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, the national Marsy’s Law Project, and various victims’ rights groups that we continue to push to elevate crime victims’ rights here in the Commonwealth!

I sincerely hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation. If you have any questions, please contact my office at 717-787-9608.

Introduced as SB149