Hawaii lawmakers are considering a bill that gives victims of crime the right to know more information about their attackers instead of being left in the dark.
It’s based on the California Victims’ Bill of Rights Act of 2008, or “Marsy’s Law,” and the concept has already been adopted in several states. The law would basically give victims a constitutional right to know more information about their attacker, such as when their court dates are, or if they’re ever released on bail.
Currently, only victims of felony crimes have such rights, and officials argue they’re not always enforced.
“There was really no way to enforce it and ensure their rights were afforded them,” said Crime Victims Services division chief Cynthia Hora. “That’s what this constitutional amendment will do. It will elevate those rights to constitutional stature and make the players in the system enforce those rights.”
The bill was deferred and a ruling will be made Wednesday.
The original California amendment is named after Marsy Nicholas, who was stalked and murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 1983 when she was a senior at UC-Santa Barbara. Her brother Henry was the main force behind the writing and subsequent passage of the law.