Bill to Strengthen Crime Victim Rights is Circulating. Call Your Legislators to Support.

In just two minutes, you can help guarantee victims’ right to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect for their privacy.   

Criminal defendants are afforded a variety of rights and protections in the criminal justice system.  Not until relatively recently have our laws recognized basic rights for crime victims. 

Wisconsin’s constitution states that victims shall be treated with “fairness, dignity and respect for their privacy.”   However, a 2005 Wisconsin Supreme Court case rendered this provision unenforceable.   The recent news stories about a district attorney who sexually harassed domestic violence victims demonstrate serious weaknesses in Wisconsin’s crime victim rights laws.

LRB-1942 would reverse the 2005 Supreme Court decision and ensure that the Crime Victims Rights Board can act when victims are treated inappropriately or when their privacy is violated.  The bill would also empower crime victims to enforce their rights in court.

Please call your legislators now to ask that they “co-sponsor LRB-1942, offered by Representative Jacque (pronunciation) and Senator Wanggaard (pronunciation).”  With just a simple phone call, you can help guarantee that crime victims have meaningful rights to protect themselves throughout the criminal justice process.  

There are some basic talking points below.

Once you have called, send me a quick email at tonyg@wcadv.org so I can follow up with your legislators. Thank you!

 

Here are some basic talking points:

  • Criminal defendants have a variety of rights that protect their interests in the legal process. LRB-1942 will ensure that crime victims are also provided meaningful rights.
  • Crime victims show tremendous courage and strength by coming forward and participating in the criminal justice system.  LRB-1942 corrects previous court decisions and practices that have significantly limited victim protections.
  • Recent news stories, including last year’s story about the Calumet County District Attorney who sexual harassed victims of domestic violence, have exposed weaknesses in Wisconsin’s victim rights laws.  With LRB-1942, the legislature can correct these weaknesses.
  • LRB-1942 will give meaning and weight to the language in the Wisconsin Constitution that states victims are to be treated with “fairness, dignity and respect for their privacy.”