Pros and cons of Marsy's Law debated in downtown Louisville
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Almost every day, there's another shooting in Louisville, another agonizing loss and another destroyed family.
Finding a way forward can be painful, sometimes even more so as families navigate life after a loved one loses theirs.
Proponents of Marsy's Law, which is named after a California girl with a Kentucky connection, say it could change all of that.
"Nicholas County, Kentucky, was named after that family," said Ashlea Christiansen, State Director for Marsy's Law Kentucky. "She would come back here often to ride horses."
Marsy was brutally murdered by her boyfriend. He was arrested that night but later released.
"Several days later, (Marsy's family) ran into him at the local grocery store, and he threatened to hurt them as well," Christiansen said.
Marsy's Law would give crime victims rights in the judicial process, like considering the victim's safety when setting bail, notifying the victim of court or release dates and giving the victim the right to be heard at hearings.
On Wednesday at Vincenzo's in downtown Louisville, those for and against it went head to head. The Louisville Forum hosted a debate about the pros and cons.
Backers say crime victims must have constitutional rights.
"Those who are accused and convicted in Kentucky have a multitude of constitutional protections," Christiansen said. "Those who are victimized have none."
But opponents say it will confuse and burden Kentucky's justice system.
"Much of what Marsy's Law is designed to do is weaken the rights of the individual accused," said Rebecca Ballard DiLoreto, Executive Director of The Institute of Compassion in Justice.
The pointed back and forth will ultimately be resolved by Kentucky voters at the polls in November.
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