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Recut: Is The Marsy's Law Ballot Language Too Vague?


On Election Day, Kentucky voters will choose representatives for Congress and the statehouse, and in some cities — Louisville included — voters will pick a mayor. Kentuckians will also be asked if they want to change the state constitution to include Marsy's Law, a constitutional amendment that would give protections to victims of alleged crimes.

Marsy's Law would make a lot of changes to Kentucky's court system, including giving alleged victims the right to testify in court proceedings. It would also allow them to hire personal attorneys to participate in proceedings and make sure their rights are being recognized. But when Kentuckians vote on the law, they won't be asked about any of the specifics. Instead, what they'll see on their ballots in November is this:
“Are you in favor of providing constitutional rights to victims of crime, including the right to be treated fairly, with dignity and respect, and the right to be informed and to have a voice in the judicial process?”
On today's episode of Recut, I talk with Kentucky Public Radio Capitol Reporter Ryland Barton. This week, Ryland wrote a story about a planned challenge from defense attorneys to keep Marsy's Law off the ballot in November. We talk about the arguments for and against the law, and check in with an attorney on the language of the ballot measure.

Like what you hear? We do it twice a week! Every episode of Recut takes a closer look at a story we’re covering in the WFPL newsroom. Subscribe on  iTunes or  Android, and let us know what you think at  recut@wfpl.org.

Jonese Franklin

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