Attorneys weigh in on Marsy's Law

By  | 

BEADLE COUNTY - Beadle County State Attorney Michael Moore says this law will honor victims who are often forgotten. But the opponents of the amendment say there are better ways to protect victims without changing the state constitution.

"It gives them the right to be notified, the right to be heard, the right to be present at the hearings, it also gives them the right to privacy," says Moore.

But other lawyers say the amendment is not forth the fight. Sioux Falls attorney Ryan Kolbeck says North Dakota has a similar bill and their fiscal analysis showed the amendment would increase property taxes by $2 million a year. He also says the bill would have to change the definition of what a victim is.

"And that’s where the watering down of the victims services occur because they would have to provide the same rights to rape victims as they will to Walmart and petty theft second cases," says Kolbeck.

“ I won't go up to the commission and ask for any more money, it won't cost the taxpayers anymore money in Beadle County, because our victims are already receiving those notifications that will be required under Marsy's law," says Moore.

Moore says he works with victims all the time who feel their protection is not a priority. But Kolbeck believes that people should petition to amend current victim rights laws, rather than adding Amendment S.

"Anything that needs to be changed with the crime victim’s act, they can be done at the legislator," says Kolbeck.

If the law doesn't pass, Moore says he'll be disappointed but he'll continue his dedication to victim's rights.