Wanggaard Unveils "Marsy's Law" to Protect Victims
This week is National Crime Victims' Rights Week, and I am proud to unveil Marsy's Law which would ensure crime victims' rights are protected in Wisconsin. I have been working on this constitutional amendment with Rep. Todd Novak and Attorney General Brad Schimel to put victim's rights on the same legal level of protection as those of the accused.
Wisconsin has long been a leader in providing rights and protections for victims of crime. We were the first state in the country to pass a Crime Victim's Bill of Rights, and in 1993, Wisconsin became one of the earliest states to adopt a constitutional amendment protecting victims of crime. In 2011, I authored a law that provided statutory rights to crime victims. This is a great legacy for our state, but a lot has happened in the nearly 25 years since that amendment was first written.
Marsy's Law takes what we have learned over the last 25 years and incorporates it into our constitution. The bill strengthens statutory protections including the right to legal standing, the right for a victim to be heard during the legal process, and allowing a victim to assert any of his or her rights in court, among many others.
As a former law enforcement officer, sadly I know first-hand the effects of crime on our communities and the impacted victims. Our focus needs to be on caring for and protecting those victims in our state, not on coddling criminals. I’m proud of Wisconsin’s history on victims’ rights, and even prouder to stand up to make sure those rights are truly equal. Many of my colleagues have already joined me in support of this important bill, and I am hopeful we can pass it quickly this legislative session.