Marsy's Law

Pennsylvania Office of Victim Advocate

On today's program: Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court strikes down a proposed constitutional amendment that would build victim’s rights into the state constitution; and Julie DeSeyn, United Way Chief Programming and Policy Officer, discusses how the local chapter is helping Pittsburghers through the pandemic. 

Split Court Tosses Pennsylvania Victims' Rights Amendment

Jan 7, 2021
Matt Rourke / AP

A victims’ rights constitutional amendment that Pennsylvania voters apparently passed by a wide margin was thrown out Thursday by a divided state court that ruled it bundled too many changes together.

How PA's Victim Advocate Found Herself In The Crosshairs Of The GOP-Led Senate

Sep 28, 2020
Tim Tai / Philadelphia Inquirer

The signs at first were subtle.

Bret Hartman / AP

Pennsylvania voters gave Marsy’s Law an overwhelming victory in the 2019 general election.

With more than 70 percent of precincts reporting results late Tuesday night, the proposed amendment, which aims to protect crime victims’ rights by adding existing laws to the state constitution, had support from more than 73 percent of voters.

But the victory may only be temporary. Thanks to a last-minute lawsuit, Marsy’s Law is in legal limbo.

Court Rules Marsy's Law Votes Won't Be Counted

Nov 4, 2019
Bret Hartman / AP Images for Marsy'

Pennsylvania's highest court is telling state elections officials not to tally or certify the results of a referendum on a victims' rights constitutional amendment. 

Bret Hartman / AP

When Pennsylvanians go to the polls next Tuesday, they’ll be asked to vote on a victims’ rights amendment to the state constitution. But a Commonwealth Court judge has barred state elections officials from counting votes on the measure, called Marsy’s Law – at least for now.

Judge Bars Marsy's Law From Taking Effect If Voters Approve It

Oct 30, 2019
Bret Hartman / AP

Votes in a referendum about enshrining victims' rights in Pennsylvania's constitution aren't going to be tallied or certified while a legal challenge to the amendment is pending.

Marsy's Law Explained

Oct 28, 2019
Bret Hartman / AP Images for Marsy'

When Pennsylvanians go to the polls on November 5th, they’ll see a question on the ballot alongside the candidates for Superior and Commonwealth Court judges. It reads:

Katie Meyer / 90.5 WESA

A commonwealth court judge is expected to decide within days whether a broad victims’ rights amendment, known as Marsy’s Law, can go into effect if voters approve it on Nov. 5, or if it will be frozen until the legal fight over its constitutionality is resolved.

Bret Hartman / AP via Marsy'

The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday filed an eleventh-hour challenge to a proposed constitutional amendment set to be on the ballot next month.

Matt Rourke / AP

On today’s program: Artworks by artists of color open in a new exhibition Saturday; Carnegie library workers take steps in unionize; and a debate between the ACLU of Pennsylvania and the Center for Victims about Marsy’s Law.  

Senate Vote Puts Victims' Rights Amendment Before Voters

Jun 19, 2019
Bret Hartman / AP Images for Marsy'

Pennsylvania voters will decide whether to enumerate victims' rights in the state constitution, a proposal likely to appear on the November ballot.

The state Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to give its final approval, putting the state's version of Marcy's Law on the ballot as a constitutional amendment referendum.

Bret Hartman / AP Images for Marsy'

When a new state legislative session starts next month, a group of crime victim advocates plans to hit the ground running to finish a longstanding effort.