Pennsylvania could see more rights for crime victims

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WYTV) – There was a push Tuesday to make sure victims of crime in Pennsylvania have the same rights as those who are accused or convicted.

Two bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to establish Marsy’s Law in the state.

Six years ago, Angela Parker-Quarles’ goddaughter, Tarina Fields Price, was stabbed and shot to death by her husband.

Angela said victims’ rights advocates stood by her during the court process, but other victims aren’t so lucky.

That’s why the bills are on the table.

Marsy’s Law is named after Marsy Nicholas, who was killed in 1983 and whose accused murderer was let out on bail. Her family was never notified.

Marsy’s Law would amend the Pennsylvania constitution, allowing crime victims to have the right to receive notification of criminal case proceedings and to be heard at plea and sentencing proceedings. It would also make sure courts consider the safety of victims and families when setting bail and release conditions.

It’ll be a few years before Marsy’s Law can become the law in Pennsylvania. A constitutional amendment requires approval in two consecutive legislative sessions, followed by a voter-approved referendum.

Voters in Ohio approved Marsy’s Law in November.