IOWACASA.ICADV

Why we oppose "Marsy's Law" legislation in Iowa

Beth Barnhill from the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Laurie Schipper from the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence contributed the following commentary. -promoted by desmoinesdem

The Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault (IowaCASA) and the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) oppose the bill known as “Marsy’s Law,” in its current form. This legislation proposes to amend Iowa’s state constitution to establish specific rights for victims of crime. However, Iowa law already provides statutory victims’ rights protections under Chapter 915.

While we remain unwavering in our support for crime victims, we believe a constitutional amendment is the wrong mechanism for effectively supporting victims. Legislation like Marsy’s Law undermines the systems and services that can better meet the comprehensive needs of victims of crime. What’s more, Marsy’s Law provides no meaningful remedy or adequate funding for services. It provides a false hope to victims, and prioritizes the rights of victims who pursue remedy in a courtroom over the vast majority of victims who choose not to.

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