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Montana politics, elections and legislative news.

Victim's Rights Amendment Qualifies For Montana Ballot

A bill asking for the end of capital punishment was voted down.
Courtesy Two Rivers Authority

Crime victims would get expanded rights under a constitutional amendment that qualified for the Montana ballot today.

What’s known as “Marsy’s Law” would require authorities to inform victims or their families of key developments related to their perpetrators, like when they might be let out of jail. Victims would also get input on those developments.

Charles Denowh is working with a national organization that is advocating for laws like this across the country. Denowh says Montana is one of 18 states that does not have constitutional-level protection for crime victims.

“Many people know now that victims of crimes do not have constitutional rights, similar to the rights of those accused of crimes or convicted of crimes have."

Secretary of State officials say the citizen’s initiative for Marsy’s Law has qualified for the ballot this fall. That required gathering more than 45,000 signatures from 40 legislative districts.

Find the text of Marsy's Law here.

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