Group hopes to highlight importance of victims' rights with Marsy's Law in Pennsylvania

Group hopes to highlight importance of victims’ rights with Marsy's Law in Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH — Representatives from Marsy’s Law for Pennsylvania are hoping their message is strong and sticks here in Pittsburgh.

The representatives came to Caffe D’Amore in Lawrenceville to continue dialogue and further educate people.

The people behind Marsy’s Law are focused on making sure crime victims' rights are constitutionally protected.

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“When crime victims don’t have rights, constitutional rights in our system, it means we lose everything,” owner of Caffe D'Amore, Sarah Walsh said.

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Pennsylvania is one of only 15 states that does not provide constitutional protections for victims and only offers statutory protections.

They are pushing for criminal case notifications, the right to for victims be heard and present at all court proceedings and further info about when perpetrators are released from prison.

The idea for Marsy’s Law was created back in 1983, after a woman named Marsy Nicholas was stalked and murdered by an ex-boyfriend.

Her brother made it his mission to be a voice for the voiceless, and the law as since passed in other states.

“Victims and survivors don’t want to be seen as a piece of evidence. They want to have a voice in the courtroom," Jennifer Riley, State Director Marsy’s Law for PA, said.

The ultimate goal is to get Marsy’s Law on the November ballot and make sure it passes in Pennsylvania.

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