Bill granting crime victims’ rights passes Kentucky House, heads - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Bill granting crime victims’ rights passes Kentucky House, heads to voters

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A bill designed to give crime victims constitutional rights cleared a major hurdle in Frankfort.

Marsy's Law overwhelmingly passed the Kentucky house Wednesday afternoon. The legislation would guarantee crime victims' constitutional rights in the judicial process.

Some of the rights include considering victims safety when setting bail, notifying them of court dates and giving them the right to be heard at hearings. Heather Gatnarek, an attorney with the ACLU of Kentucky, said Marsy’s Law could infringe on the rights of the accused to have a fair trial.

"We're really concerned that it will overwhelm and really overburden a system that is already working with too few resources," Gatnarek said.

The ACLU said the organization supports providing more rights for victims but argues this law would not achieve its goal and does not provide funding for advocates.

"Victims with resources and money would be able to hire private attorneys, while victims without, who are a lot of victims in the criminal justice system, would be left hanging, frankly," Gatnarek said.

Voters will decide if they want to change Kentucky's constitution this November.

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