PHILADELPHIA, PA – Councilwomen Cherelle Parker (9th District) and Blondell Reynolds Brown (At Large) today introduced a resolution urging the General Assembly to adopt Marsy’s Law, which would enable Pennsylvania voters to codify the rights of crime victims and their families in the Pennsylvania Constitution.
Marsy’s Law was first proposed in 2009 by Dr. Henry Nicholas in memory of his sister, Marsy, who was murdered in 1983 at the hands of her ex-boyfriend. Marsy’s Law statutes codify constitutional rights for crime victims and their families. Pennsylvania is just one of nine states that does not provide constitutional protections for crime victims.
Marsy’s Law passed unanimously in both the Pennsylvania House and Senate during the 2017-18 legislative session. The bill has been reintroduced and must be passed in both chambers of the General Assembly in this legislative session, as is required for constitutional amendments in the Commonwealth. If approved in consecutive sessions, the constitutional amendment would then require approval by Pennsylvania voters before taking effect.
“Elevating victims’ rights is not a zero sum game. In no way, shape or form does it diminish the rights of the accused and convicted,” Parker said. “At the same time, survivors not only deal with the emotional, physical and sometimes financial toll of a violent crime, but they also face a daunting criminal justice system. That is why we must ensure that their rights are recognized and protected.”
Councilwoman Parker also introduced a resolution Thursday declaring April “Limb Loss Awareness Month” in the City of Philadelphia. The resolution was co-sponsored by all members of Council and unanimously adopted.
Read the resolution.
Councilwoman Cherelle L. Parker represents the 9th District, which includes East Mt. Airy, West Oak Lane, East Oak Lane, Lawncrest, Burholme, Olney and parts of Oxford Circle and Logan. She is Chair of Council’s Committee on Labor and Civil Service and Vice Chair of Council’s Committee on Commerce and Economic Development.