Discussions held in Wausau on Marsy’s Law impact and improvement

Wisconsin is one of 17 states that recognizes Marsy's Law
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 8:33 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - It’s been almost three years since Marsy’s Law passed in Wisconsin. The law gives victims constitutional rights during the criminal justice process.

Marathon County District’s Attorney Theresa Wetzsteon said it has allowed more victims to be involved and that is a real change. “Under previous law, the victim’s rights started when the court process started. Now, victim’s rights are enforced at the point of victimization.”

On Tuesday, advocates supporting the law came together at the Wausau Public Library to discuss how the law has impacted victims and what improvement can be made.

The Director of Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin Nela Kalpic stated that victims now more than ever have a choice which is something that was not recognized for them in the past. She said, “We want to empower them, so if they choose to be part of the process they are rewarded to have a stronger voice, throughout the process, but, of course, they can also opt-out and choose not to do so.”

One issue discussed in the forum was about how to better communicate with victims so they can receive the right information in a timely manner.

“We’re just looking at how we might be able to improve that throughout the case process so that they can continue to receive communications. And again are involved as they want to be at each step of the process,” said Circuit Court Judge of Marathon County Suzanne O’Neill.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Marsy’s Law was not a constitutional right. In fact, Marsy’s Law gives victims the constitutional right to enforce their rights in the court of law if they have been infringed upon during the criminal justice process. We apologize for the error.