The Decaturish Podcast talks about effort to expand rights for crime victims in Georgia
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When voters in Georgia go to the polls on Nov. 6, they won’t be voting for just the governor and their congressional representatives. They’ll also have the opportunity to amend the state’s constitution to give specific rights to crime victims, known as Amendment 4, the Marsy’s Law amendment.
Under the amendment, victims of felony crimes will have the right to notice of any court proceedings involving their case, the right to be notified of the release of suspects in these cases, the right to heard at any scheduled court proceedings involving the release, plea, or sentencing of the accused.
While the law has overwhelming political support, including by both the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor, not everyone is enthusiastic about the proposed amendment. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, a non-partisan research institute, says the law could have unintended consequences because it could infringe on the rights of those accused of committing a crime and appears to be contrary to the state’s recent efforts to reform its criminal justice system.
Eric Harrison, Political Director of Marsy’s Law for Georgia and Kimya Motley, a field representative for the organization and domestic violence survivor, joined the Decaturish podcast to talk about what the effect of the amendment would be in Georgia.
Harrison called Decaturish after the Podcast was recorded to say that the bill would not offer an unfair advantage to someone who falsely accuses someone else of committing a crime.
“It does not tip the scales for the victim in that case to have any undue influence on the process,” he said.
Editor’s note: If you don’t have a smart phone, you can listen to the podcast in the player embedded at the end of this post.
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