Marsy's Law Back on the Ballot in Kentucky

It would put the national law into place for Kentuckians, giving victims a sense of security by alerting them to what happens behind courtroom doors.

Posted: Nov 1, 2020 9:20 PM

Kentucky's victims of crime are asking for the Bluegrass's help.

Checking "yes" on your ballot will give them more constitutional rights when it comes to their attackers.

It would put the national Marsy's Law into place in Kentucky, giving victims a sense of security by alerting them to what happens behind courtroom doors.

This isn't the first time voters are seeing this measure on the ballot. The amendment, seen on ballots this year as Amendement 1, actually passed in 2018, but it was overturned by the Kentucky Supreme Court because it was determined the wording wasn't specific enough for voters to make an informed decision.

Now, it's back on the ballot and this time, the full text is laid out for voters to read.

Jay Randolph and his wife founded The Chloe Randolph Organization in memory of their daughter who was killed by her husband in 2019.

The Henderson father said when the Commonwealth Attorney's Office determined the man wasn't eligible for a life sentence, he wasn't notified of that decision.

"It would have been nice if I had gotten a call or something," he said. "I was told that anything they did was out of respect for my family because they didn't have to tell me."

That's because Kentucky is currently one of 15 states that doesn't require victims be notified of changes.

"Marsy's Law will make it to where victims have rights," Randolph said. "You have the right to notification of anything -- trial, bond, early release, parole, anything like that."

But it isn't so cut and dry.

Henderson County Attorney Steve Gold points to those who don't support the amendment. He said many argue those rights already exist.

"That most of the rights are already in the state law," he said. "They feel that if there are concerns with that then they should just enforce the state law."

But he also argued for those who do support it.

"On the pro side, it senda a strong, symbolic message that the state is in support of victims of crime," Gold said. "It elevates a victim's right from a legal right to a constitutional right."

Randolph said despite these concerns, voting "yes" on Amendment 1 is the right choice.

"Marsy's Law is a common sense law in the state of Kentucky that gives victims rights," he said. "Whether people want to say it's statutory or not, we don't have those rights, and that's what we need."

Both Randolph and the Henderson County Attorney agree that there's a lot to consider with Marsy's Law, so if you haven't already cast your ballot, be sure to read up on the law and decide for yourself if you will be voting "yes" or "no" on Amendment 1.

You can read more information on the amedment here.

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