PDAA Support for Marsy’s Law (S.B. 1011)

March 19, 2018

Dear Senator:

I am writing to express the support of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association (PDAA) for S.B. 1011.  Known as Marsy’s Law, this legislation would ensure that our State Constitution protects the rights of crime victims.  By elevating these rights, Pennsylvania would be taking a significant step to ensuring that victims are afforded the appropriate dignity, respect, and protections that they deserve.

Currently, the rights of crime victims are not contained in our Constitution.  The rights of criminal defendants are, however, and they should be. But we believe that victims and defendants should be on equal constitutional footing, and S.B. 1011 will do just that.

In Pennsylvania, we have a robust Crime Victims Act that provides significant protections to our victims. But because it is an Act, and not in our Constitution, victims’ rights do not carry the weight or power they should. Indeed, some protections are not adequately or uniformly enforced and, as a result, do not always achieve the intended results. S.B. 1011 will ensure that victims’ rights are as strong as they should be.

Victims of crime are real people with real families who suffer real harm. They did not deserve what happened to them. But what they do deserve is to be safe, to be treated with fairness and dignity, and to be made whole. They deserve to be heard. This is the essence of S.B. 1011, and why the PDAA supports this important legislation.


John T. Adams