Pennsylvania House approves Marsy’s Law

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The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has approved legislation to change the state constitution and ensure the rights of crime victims and their families.

House Bill 276, Pennsylvania’s version of Marsy’s Law, would give victims the right to be notified of proceedings in their criminal cases, be present at court hearings, and be heard at plea and sentencing proceedings.

The bill is named for California woman who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. A week after her death, Marsy Nicholas’s mother and brother were confronted by her accused killed in a grocery store, unaware that he had been released on bail.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Because Marsy’s Law requires a constitutional change, it has to make its way through two legislative sessions and then be approved by voters.

The General Assembly approved the measure last year, so it could appear on voter ballots in November.

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