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Idahoans should have been able to vote on Marsy’s Law

August 2, 2018

All you have to do is turn on the TV to know that we live in a scary world. Every day, the news is filled with stories of horrific incidents that deeply impact people’s lives. These stories both frighten and prepare people for what could happen to anyone at any moment. But what someone cannot prepare for is the unknown trauma, after the original trauma has occurred. That’s what some victims in Idaho experience during the court process because of outdated laws.

Last legislative session, a group called Marsy’s Law for Idaho proposed HJR 8, a constitutional amendment that would add to Idaho’s current Victim Bill of Rights. In 1992, the people of Idaho made the decision that victim’s rights are so important they deserve constitutional protections — but for some reason there are lawmakers today who do not believe that the people of Idaho should get to decide if those protections need updating. I was disappointed to hear that some legislators like Rep. Dustin Manwaring, R-Pocatello, would prevent Idaho citizens from voting on such a critical issue that touches just about every one of us, because he believed the people would not be smart enough to know the legal impact.

I wanted the opportunity to vote in favor of additional rights for crime victims. I wanted to know that if me or someone I loved ever became a victim we would be protected by the courts in a meaningful way. Victims deserve protection, just like Idahoans deserved to be able to vote on Marsy’s Law.

Sara Wonderlich,

Boise

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