Local Reps. Vote Against Marsy's Law for Idaho, Fails in Idaho House

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Victim's rights advocates say they'll continue fighting after Marsy's Law for Idaho failed to make it past the Idaho House Monday.

Advocates were working on getting the amendment on the November ballot, but a 42-28 vote in the House, short of the required two-thirds majority, ended those hopes for now.

HJR8, known as "Marsy's Law for Idaho" was a proposed amendment to Idaho's constitution that would have given more rights to victims of crime.

Back in September, KLEW News spoke with victim turned advocate, Lauren Busdon, about what the law would do. That includes notifying victims when an offender was released on probation or parole and allowing them to have more voice in the judicial process.

Local representatives Thyra Stevenson and Mike Kingsley both voted against the amendment. Rep. Kingsley says, "I'd heard from our judges and prosecutors around the state and they couldn't see how it would be of benefit, that was the big reason. Secondly, when you lock something into our constitiution, it's permanent. It would keep us from being able to make corrections that need to go. There's a lot of things that do need to be corrected and in a way this was kind of a good, because it really brought up a lot of things that we need to work on in the legislature for victims' rights."

Representative Kingsley says victims' rights could be taken care of through statutes instead of amending the state constitution. Currently Idaho does have some statutes regarding victims' rights; those were added in 1994.

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