Georgia Amendment 4, Marsy's Law Crime Victim Rights Amendment (2018)

Discussion in 'Off-topic Political' started by xls177, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. xls177

    xls177 Member

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    What's wrong with this amendment?

    Doesn't seem like anything we would need to do a amendment for.
    shouldn't it be handled by the legislature if needed.
    Don't we already have a law like this?

    I see this is being pushed in many states by one guy supposedly
    The commercial i see for this is complete fear mongering and false as to what the amendment is.

    https://ballotpedia.org/Georgia_Amendment_4,_Marsy's_Law_Crime_Victim_Rights_Amendment_(2018)

    Opposition
    Arguments
    The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, in a report titled "Marsy's Law of Unintended Consequences" notes the following potential consequences of adopting Marsy's Law in Georgia:[9]

    • The cost of more attorneys and support staff for victims and of detaining more people accused of crimes
    • The risk of infringing the rights of someone accused of a crime
    • Accusations could be falsified by purported victims
    • The accused could lose their right to be presumed innocent until convicted
    The Georgia Public Policy Foundation also says that "Part of being smart on crime is realizing that while law enforcement and its agencies fall short in some areas of the victim rights’ statute, that should be resolved with a targeted legislative remedy, not a constitutional amendment that quite possibly could undo years of progress."[10]
     
  2. UtiPossidetis

    UtiPossidetis American

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    Completely inappropriate use of the CA provision for the GA Constitution. It's already the law in GA. Another example of someone with too much money and an agenda trying to drive the entire process remotely.
     

  3. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Agreed.

    Georgia should not easily go-along with slick marketing campaigns by foreigners (in this case, a California group run by and financed by a billionaire) who want to change OUR constitution.

    However, I would not mind if Georgia's legislature passed some new victim advocacy and right-to-know laws, to build upon the Crime Victims Bill of Rights that we've had since the middle 1990s.

    Our District Attorney offices have had "victim-witness assistance units" (VWAU) even longer, since about 1990 or 1991. I myself was a volunteer at the Cobb DA's VWAU when Tom Charron was the DA and I lived in Marietta.
    The Victim-Witness people would maintain contact with the victims of felony crimes, keep them updated on the progress of the case, help them complete victim impact statements, encourage them to testify, etc. Much of what Marsy's law calls for (or has called-for in other states where it has been more fully implemented) just duplicates what we've been doing in GA for 25+ years.

    Marsy's law is named after Marsalee Nichols, who was stalked, ambushed, and murdered (by shotgun blast to the head) by her ex-boyfriend in California in 1983. The killer in that case, because he himself was a youthful offender in his teens or early 20s, got out on bond right away-- before the victim's funeral had even taken place. He went back to live in the same neighborhood as the girl and her family, and her relatives encountered him at a grocery store right after her funeral.

    HOWEVER, the criminal justice system of a liberal scum-sucking cesspool like California during that time period 35 years ago does NOT reflect the reality of Georgia's criminal justice procedures and practices today. What Marsy's law proposed may have been right for California then, but it's not needed now.

    And the manner in which this well-funded marketing campaign is trying to bypass the legislative process and put this "law" directly into the constitution offends me on principle.

    THE ACTUAL WORDING OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE is found in SR 146, passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Deal earlier this year. The vague wording on the ballot initiative we will see in November does not tell voters about what will change, and even the actual text of SR 146 doesn't answer just HOW those new constitutional provisions will be applied in real-life and how conflicts with other rights of criminal defendants (most of which are derived from the U.S. Constitution, the supreme law of the land, which cannot be taken away by any state's laws or ballot referendum) will be resolved.

    Another law, also passed this year along with SR 146, is SB 127. Senate bill 127 will only take effect if this constitutional amendment for Masy's law passes (which it will, easily). SB 127 isn't very important. It just says that if victims opt-in for notice and don't get it, they have standing to go to court and demand a judge enforce their rights to notices for future events.

    So, BOTTOM LINE, is that right now even if the Marsy's law constitutional amendment passes, not much will change. There is virtually no legislation written at this point to put the meat on those bones, so to speak. But the passage will open the door to many bills that we can expect to see in the future on the subject of criminal justice reform, and perhaps some state agencies will rewrite their policies to comply with this new constitutional doctrine even absent a statutory law on-point. The foundation that is run by Marsy's brother has a LOT of proposed laws or constitutional provisions, up to 45 pages of text, that they'd like to see each state adopt. Georgia, at this time, is only agreeing to use a small part of that package. Time will tell how far down this path we want to go. I hope its not too far.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018