A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Whitney Westerfield: First step for victims’ rights complete, more work to be done in November

Last year in Kentucky there were 23,785 felony cases that resulted in a conviction. In each case, there was a victim who had to navigate a complicated judicial system at a severe disadvantage to those accused of doing them harm. Too often, the criminal justice system meant to work for them caused even more anguish. Sen. Westerfield It shouldn’t be this way in Kentucky. And, with your help in November,...

LRC’s Week at the State Capitol: First measure approved by GA is proposed victims’ bill of rights

The first bill passed by both chambers of the General Assembly this year is a measure that will allow voters to decide on a “bill of rights” for crime victims. Senate Bill 3, more commonly known as Marsy’s Law, proposes adding a section to the Kentucky Constitution to give crime victims constitutional rights similar to those afforded to the convicted or accused. The right to notice of proceedings,...

Michelle Kuiper: Marsy’s Law insures victims don’t suffer further in navigating criminal justice system

Every two hours someone in our Commonwealth becomes a victim to forcible sexual assault or robbery. If you do the math, that comes out to 4,380 people per year. In 1994, as a freshman in college, I became one of those statistics. In 1994, four weeks into my freshman year of college, the course of my life changed. I was taken off my front porch, attacked from behind, and sexually assaulted. I reported...

Frankfort this week: Marsy’s Law clears Senate; others followed on rare diseases, organ donors, pets

The General Assembly’s 2018 session passed one of its early milestones this week as the first bill to clear a chamber this year was approved by the Kentucky Senate on Wednesday.   The legislation, known as Senate Bill 3, brought back an issue lawmakers have considered before: adding language to the state constitution that specifies certain rights that should be afforded to crime victims. These rights...

David Ward: Marsy’s Law would have dramatic negative impact on Kentucky’s legal system

If Marsy’s Law – a bill pre-filed in our Legislature is passed, Kentucky citizens will have a chance to weigh in on the following question that will determine whether the Kentucky Constitution is dramatically changed and whether every criminal case in the Commonwealth is altered substantially. Are you in favor of providing constitutional rights to victims of crime, including the right to be...

First day of General Assembly off to bumpy start, facing big issues; Hoover’s role in House uncertain

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The 2018 General Assembly got off to a bumpy start on Tuesday with some lawmakers unhappy that House Speaker Jeff Hoover has resigned and others upset that he hasn’t. 
Hoover, R-Jamestown, had announced he would give up his leadership post in November after admitting he entered into a settlement with a former House staffer to resolve a sexual harassment claim, but...

Commentary: Crime victims must have Marsy’s Law to correct imbalance in justice system

By Caroline Ruschell, Marcia Roth and Eileen Recktenwald Special to KyForward If you’ve ever watched a crime show on TV or witnessed an arrest up close, you know what happens. The accused is usually handcuffed, read their constitutionally-guaranteed Miranda rights, and put in the back of a police car to be taken to jail to face the charges against them. But what becomes of victims – those left...

Legislators convene Tuesday to face pensions, budgets, adoption, Marsy’s Law and more

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky lawmakers have a full plate of issues to address when they return to Frankfort to convene the 2018 regular session on Tuesday.   At the top of the list is reforming the state’s eight public pension systems, which have a total unfunded liability of between $33 billion and $84 billion, depending on whose figures you use.  Gov. Matt Bevin, accompanied by legislative...

Marsy’s law for crime victims rights gaining momentum going into the legislature

Marsy’s Law for Kentucky, an effort supporting constitutional rights for crime victims, continues to gain momentum going into the legislative session. With more than 35,000 Kentuckians, prominent local leaders, organizations and advocates urging the General Assembly to pass Marsy’s Law, the victims’ bill of rights will be a priority in 2018. “We have an impressive and ever-expanding coalition...