Montana bill attempts to clarify victim rights amendment, but opponents say courts should decide
Criminal justice officials across Montana want help preparing for a victim’s rights law set to take effect this summer, but a bill in the Legislature aimed at providing direction drew criticism Monday.
Sponsored by Rep. Frank Garner, R-Kalispell, House Bill 600 was introduced in the House Judiciary Committee on Monday morning.
The bill revises Marsy’s Law, a constitutional amendment that was passed by 66 percent of Montana voters in November, which lays out mandates for law enforcement, prosecutors and victim advocates to ensure the rights of crime victims.
Among the key revisions proposed by HB 600 are allowing victims to waive their constitutional rights under Marsy’s law, defining a victim as a person, allowing sharing of victims’ information to victim advocates and creating a card detailing rights that will be handed out to victims by law enforcement.