Idaho Senate panel advances victims' rights amendment

A proposed amendment to Idaho's constitution that would give crime victims and their families the same rights as the accused is advancing inside the Legislature.

The Senate State Affairs Committee unanimously agreed to send the proposal to the Senate floor on Friday after an emotional two-hour hearing.

The proposal would require that crime victims be notified of all court proceedings and be heard at each step along the way. It also would declare that full and timely restitution is a right.

However, opponents of the bill warn that the sweeping law could negatively impact Idaho's criminal justice system by increasing workloads and create a financial burden on already cash-strapped agencies.

The amendment, dubbed Marsy's Law for Idaho, is named for a California woman killed in 1983 by her ex-boyfriend after he was released from jail without her being notified.

© 2017 Associated Press


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