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Kentucky Supreme Court tosses challenge to Marsy’s Law

On Thursday, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled a law that creates more protections for crime victims will stand.
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 2:12 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - On Thursday, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled a law that creates more protections for crime victims will stand.

The latest legal challenge to Marsy’s Law questions whether the legislation passed the proper steps to get on the ballot.

Before that, the Supreme Court struck down the law, saying its wording was too vague. Opponents say they don’t disagree with its premise, but take issue with the way it works.

“The term ‘victim’ is more than just a label,” Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton said.

Courthouse Plaza, the epicenter of change, protest and participation in Lexington, was overtaken by a promise, and a pledge to remember victims of crimes.

Groups in Kentucky disagree on how to protect them.

“Helping survivors of crime find justice takes more than just an outcome in the court room,” said Emily Bonistall Postel, the state director for Marsy’s Law of Kentucky.

The Kentucky Supreme Court tossed a challenge to Marsy’s Law. The law amends the state constitution, adding more protections to victims, like being notified of proceedings, participating in them, and having their safety considered when rulings are made.

“Justice includes treatment of victims with compassion and respect long after a case ends,” Postel said.

The ACLU of Kentucky was disappointed by the court’s decision. In a statement, a spokesperson called Marsy’s Law an “empty promise, confusing and vague.”

They also wrote, “it unnecessarily complicates the criminal legal process, threatens to increase prison populations, interferes with due process, and clogs already overburdened courts.”

Postel said this is a victory.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the decision that came out today and what incredible timing during National Crime Victims’ rights week,” Postel said.

She said the majority of voters passed the law twice in Kentucky.

The ACLU noted it could be taken to court again.

Thursday’s ceremony at the plaza was part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which goes through Saturday.

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