Constitutional protections always seem to be at issue when dealing with criminal law. There is a constant struggle between two general camps, one in favor of individual rights and liberties and one in favor of police and authority. Marsy's Law is an example of this struggle, and its path in Pennsylvania is unprecedented. If you face a sexual assault claim, it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
What is Marsy's Law?
Marsy's Law is a controversial piece of legislation that was first passed in California in 2008. Marsy's Law seeks to give greater protection to crime victims and is named after a woman named Marsy Nicholas, a California woman killed by her boyfriend back in 1983. Several states have since passed Marsy's Law, including Florida, Georgia, and Illinois, while Marsy's Law was declared unconstitutional in its entirety in Montana.
Marsy's Law was proposed as an amendment to Pennsylvania's Constitution as a proposal during the 2019 election. In giving greater protection to crime victims, Marsy's Law also takes away from the Constitutional rights of the accused, namely the ability of an alleged crime victim to refuse to provide discovery or any evidence for review. This is an important conflict within Marsy's Law as this provision can severely hamper an individual from forming a defense.
What's the Legal Status of Marsy's Law in Pennsylvania?
During a November 2019 referendum in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the passage of Marsy's Law was with the support of three-quarters of voters. Legal issues have prevented Marsy's Law from going into effect. One main issue is that Marsy's Law was a part of a set of Pennsylvania Constitutional amendments grouped for one vote. Grouping more than one issue for a Constitutional change is against election law in Pennsylvania, so the Court of Appeals just ruled against the validity of the election results passing Marsy's Law.
Governor Tom Wolf has since informed the public that his administration will not be joining in any appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. A group called Marsy's Law for Pennsylvania has since joined in an appeal with the Pennsylvania Attorney General despite not having the backing from the state. The ACLU has consistently defended against the implementation of Marsy's Law as it is an erosion of due process rights. If you have legal questions, then call us at the Lento Law Firm so we can help!
Why Hiring the Lento Law Firm is the Right Choice
If you face a sexual assault accusation, it is important to speak to an experienced attorney immediately. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped countless people across Pennsylvania fight their cases. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to learn why hiring Attorney Lento and his team are the right choice to defend you.