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In Blondell Reynolds Brown, Cherelle Parker, Council News, News by PHL Council

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Resolution commends legislators for action on constitutional amendment for Marsy’s Law for Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA (April 11, 2019) — Today, the Philadelphia City Council voted in favor of a resolution related to Marsy’s Law for Pennsylvania, which would amend the state constitution to enumerate the rights of crime victims.

The resolution, sponsored by Councilwomen Blondell Reynolds Brown (At Large) and Councilwoman Cherelle Parker (9th District), commends the Pennsylvania General Assembly for its work to address victims’ rights by advancing Marsy’s Law. Currently, the Pennsylvania Constitution enumerates rights for those accused of crimes, but not the rights of victims.

“Crime victims deserve to be treated with respect, and to have their voices heard throughout every step of the process. Marsy’s Law will help bridge the gap between the rights of the accused and the rights of the victim,” stated Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown.

The City Council vote action taken today is a part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, created in 1981 to promote laws, policies, and programs to help victims of crime.

Earlier this week, Marsy’s Law was overwhelmingly approved by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and will now be considered by the Pennsylvania Senate. House Bill 276 for Marsy’s Law is sponsored by Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland), and Senator John Sabatina (D-Philadelphia) is sponsoring a bill in the Senate during this legislative session.

“I want to thank my Council colleagues for recognizing that 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.”

Marsy’s Law passed constitutional amendments in six states in 2018: Nevada, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. With the implementation of Marsy’s Law in those states, Pennsylvania became one of the only nine states that does not incorporate victims’ rights into its constitution.

With significant legislative support, Marsy’s Law is expected to appear on the ballot in Pennsylvania for voter approval in November 2019.


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