Marsy’s Law took effect in Georgia on January 1, 2019. An amendment to the Georgia constitution, this resolution ensures certain rights for victims of violent crimes. In this post, we want to move past all the political and legal talk and give you a simple and clear explanation of what this law means for Georgia residents.
According to state and national congressional representatives who endorsed the amendment, the purpose of Marsy’s Law is to protect the rights of and restore safety and agency to those who have been victimized. Marsy’s Law provides victims of crimes such as homicide, assault, burglary, identity theft, and stalking (comprehensive list here) with the right to be updated on the progress of their case at every step of the process and gives them the right to be present in all the courtroom proceedings. Victims of violent crimes can request to be notified about the sentencing or release of the accused and are given the right to speak in any courtroom proceeding.
In other words, Marsy’s Law lets victims have access to information about their case at whatever level they want or need and gives them a voice if they desire to speak out. For anyone who’s experienced the violation and sense of powerlessness that comes from victimization, this law offers some protection and recourse.
The amendment passed in both state houses unopposed and was approved by 80% of voters. It’s a humanitarian and bipartisan win.