In the 2020 General Election, Kentuckians voted to add an amendment to the Constitution of Kentucky called Marsy's Law. This decision made Senate Bill 15 and Senate Bill 80 law. Senate Bill 15's amendments are reflected in Section 26A of the Constitution of Kentucky and Senate Bill 80 works in conjunction with KRS 421.500 - 421.575. Under Marsy's Law, crime victims have the constitutional right to:
- Timely notice of all proceedings.
- Be heard in any proceeding involving release, plea, sentencing, or consideration of pardon, commutation, granting of reprieve, or other matter involving the right of a victim.
- Be present at all proceedings, other than Grand Jury proceedings.
- Proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
- Consult with the attorney for the Commonwealth or designee
- Reasonable protection from the accused.
- Timely notice of release or escape of the accused.
- Have their safety and their family's safety considered in setting bail, the defendant's release and conditions of release.
- Full restitution to be paid by the convicted defendant.
- Fairness and consideration of the victims' safety, dignity, and privacy.
- Be informed of these rights and standing to assert these rights.
Our Office has developed a Victims' Rights brochure, which provides victims with information about their rights under Marsy's Law. We have also developed a card for Commonwealth's and County Attorneys, advocates, and law enforcement as they work to assist crime victims.