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Victims’ rights legislation makes progress—and faces setbacks.

Nationwide efforts to enact legislation modeled after the California Victims' Bill of Rights Act of 2008, also known as Marsy's Law, moved slowly forward in 2017.Marsy’s Law, “Marsy’s Law for All,” The original California law provides 17 rights to victims, including the right to information and to be heard at various stages of the criminal justice process.The law also provides a right to be informed about these rights, which is achieved by officers providing victims a “Marsy’s Card.” California Attorney General’s Office, “Marsy’s Card and Resources,”

Ohio passed a Marsy’s Law, the Montana Supreme Court struck down their state’s Marsy’s Law as procedurally unconstitutional, and Wisconsin’s version was passed by its Senate, one of multiple hurdles before the measure can be placed on the ballot.Ohio Issue 1, Marsy's Law Crime Victim Rights Initiative (2017); Whitney Bermes, “Montana Supreme Court Strikes Down Marsy’s Law,” Bozeman Daily Chronicle, November 1, 2017; Wisconsin SJR 53 (2017); and Jason Stein, “Wisconsin Senate Votes to Give Crime Victims New Constitutional Rights Under Marsy’s Law,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 7, 2017. Nevadans and Oklahomans will have the opportunity to vote on versions of Marsy’s Law in 2018.Nevada SJR 17 (2017); Meghan Breen, “Marsy’s Law Heading to Voters Next Year,” 2News, June 7, 2017; and McKenna Eubank, “Oklahoma Voters to Decide on Equal Rights for Crime Victims,” KTEN, December 6, 2017. Supporters in Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, and North Carolina are working to bring a Marsy’s Law to voters in 2018.“Constitution Revision Commission Committee Holds Workshop on Victims’ Rights,” press release (Tallahassee, FL: Marsy’s Law, December 12, 2017); Steve Bertel, “Marsy’s Law Backers Launch Idaho Campaign,” KIVI-TV, September 25, 2017; Kentucky League of Cities, “Case is Made for Marsy’s Law in Kentucky,” press release (Lexington, KY: Kentucky League of Cities, September 28, 2017); and Breanne Howe, “MLNC Campaign Continues to Build Across the State,” Marsy’s Law for All, December 6, 2017.