With just a few hour left until the end of Veto Day, Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill to implement Marsy's Law, legislation that would approve constitutional rights for crime victims.

“On his final day as governor to sign legislation into law, we believe that Gov. Deal saved the best for last,” said Ann Casas, state director for Marsy’s Law for Georgia. “With this legislation now ready to take effect, we are one step closer to equal rights for crime victims. Our state is one of only 14 in the country that don’t give victims any constitutional rights, and Georgia is one of several states that will vote this November to pass Marsy’s Law.”

Marsy’s Law was named after Marsalee (Marsy) Nicholas, a University of California Santa Barbara student, who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. A week after her death, Marsy's brother and mother were confronted in a grocery store by the accused killer. Neither had any idea that he had been released on bail.

“Our landmark criminal justice reforms over the past eight years are saving tax dollars, decreasing recidivism and bolstering our workforce,” said Deal. “Marsy’s Law for Georgia complements these efforts by strengthening the protections for those who’ve been hurt by criminal actions.”

Marsy’s Law for Georgia would give victims the constitutional right to notice of the status of offenders and information on case developments, the right to attend any proceedings involving the offender, the right to be heard throughout case proceedings, as well as the right to be treated with dignity and respect.

The implementing legislation and constitutional amendment for Marsy’s Law passed both chambers of the General Assembly unanimously this year. The governor’s signature enacted the implementing legislation, but voters will have the final say on amending the state constitution.

For more information about Marsy's Law, click here.

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