By BEN BOTKIN
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
CARSON CITY — Nevada crime victims may get expanded rights that are enshrined in the state constitution.
The Senate Judiciary Committee had a hearing on Thursday for Senate Joint Resolution 17, a proposed constitutional amendment that creates an expanded bill of rights for crime victims. It provides measures like notices of criminal proceedings and a priority on their safety and confidentiality.
“When crime victims have specific, enforceable constitutional rights, they are simply better served,” said Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, a sponsor of the measure.
The proposed bill is mirrored after a similar bill of rights for victims that California voters passed in 2008 called Marsy’s Law. It’s named after Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas, who was killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Her family members were later confronted by him when he was released after a bail hearing that they didn’t know about.
Critics include the Clark County Public Defender’s office, which notes that victim safety is a priority at bail hearings, victims are allowed by law to refuse interviews, and the increased costs for notifying victims of hearings.
The proposal passed the Legislature in 2015. Proposed constitutional amendments need to pass the Legislature twice. If SRJ17 passes again, it would go to voters for final approval in 2018.
Contact Ben Botkin at [email protected] or 775-461-0661. Follow @BenBotkin1 on Twitter.