HARRISBURG – Marsy’s Law for Pennsylvania, which is aimed at providing equal rights to crime victims in Pennsylvania by ensuring constitutional protections, along with local victim service groups announced today that Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland) has been presented the Guardian of Victims’ Rights Award.
The Guardian of Victims’ Rights Awards are presented to people who have served as advocates and ambassadors for crime victims across the state, working to ensure that they are treated with dignity and respect. Delozier is the prime sponsor of Marsy’s Law legislation, which is seeking an amendment to ensure that the Pennsylvania Constitution enumerates rights for victims of crime.“We have so many reasons (for needing Marsy’s Law),” said Delozier. “It’s time that the victims voice is heard in the criminal justice system on par with the person accused of the crime, when the victim is a part of this process at no fault of their own.”
Although the state constitution enumerates rights for individuals accused and convicted of crimes, Pennsylvania is one of only nine states that does not afford the same protections to crime victims.
The award was presented on February 27, during a meeting with Marsy’s Law for Pennsylvania, Randi’s House of Angels and the Carlisle YWCA.
Domestic Violence Services of Cumberland & Perry Counties Executive Director Barbara Kohutiak added, “DVSCP supports the swift passage of Marsy’s Law. Amending the Pennsylvania Constitution to bring crime victims’ rights to the same level as those of the accused is long overdue.”
Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland) recently introduced House Bill 276 for Marsy’s Law, and Sen. John Sabatina (D-Philadelphia) is sponsoring the bill in the Senate during this legislative session.For the state constitution to be amended, legislation must pass in two consecutive legislative sessions before being added to the ballot for voter approval. During the 2017-18 legislative session, Marsy’s Law passed unanimously in the state Senate and House.
With significant legislative support, Marsy’s Law is expected to pass both chambers by June, allowing for the measure to appear on the November 2019 ballot for consideration by Pennsylvania voters.
About Marsy’s Law for Pennsylvania
Marsy’s Law for Pennsylvania is a grassroots effort seeking to amend the state constitution to provide victims of crime equal rights to those already afforded to the accused and convicted. Pennsylvania is one of only nine states that does not provide constitutional protections for crime victims. While the accused and convicted have numerous rights codified in the Pennsylvania Constitution, crime victims have only statutory protections. Marsy’s Law for Pennsylvania elevates the statutory and common law rights afforded to crime victims in Pennsylvania. For more information, visit www.marsyslawforpa.com.