Idaho House panel introduces victims’ rights amendment

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An Idaho House panel has introduced a proposal that would amend the state’s constitution to expand the rights of crime victims and their families.

The House State Affairs Committee agreed to give the bill a full hearing on Friday after spiking a similar proposal last year.

The proposal would tweak the Victim Rights Amendment inside the state constitution, which Idaho voters ratified in 1994. The current amendment details rights for victims. However, advocates of the change have said it does not do enough and need to be updated.

Opponents of the bill counter the proposal would negatively impact Idaho’s criminal justice system by increasing workloads and create a financial burden on already cash-strapped agencies.

The amendment, called Marsy’s Law for Idaho, is named for a California woman killed in 1983 by her ex-boyfriend after he was released from jail without her being notified.