Wisconsin voters approved amending the state constitution to guarantee crime victims more rights. The measure passed easily in results reported Monday, April 13 from the April 7 election.
The Wisconsin Constitution and state law already lay out a host of victim rights. The amendment largely duplicates that existing language but goes further in several areas.
Victims will now have the right to seal information or records that could be used to locate them and the right to be heard at plea and parole hearings. They will be allowed to opt out of participating in depositions conducted by defense attorneys or opposing attorneys in civil matters. That provision will make it harder for criminal defendants to sue them. Currently, victims can speak at sentencing.
Supporters have dubbed the amendments “Marsy’s Law” for California college student Marsalee Nicholas, who was killed by an ex-boyfriend in 1983. Her brother, Henry Nicholas, has bankrolled efforts to put the amendments in place across the country.
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