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DOJ Offers New Website To Help State Agencies Comply With Marsy’s Law

peter christian
District Court

Marsy’s Law, known as the victim’s bill of rights, goes into effect on July 1, and the Montana department of Justice is assisting state agencies in compliance with a new website.

DOJ spokesman Eric Sell said the website is specifically designed for county attorneys and sheriff’s offices. One important feature is a mock up of what is called a ‘Marsy’s Card’ specifically for crime victims.

“What the card has on it is the 19 constitutional rights that the voters approved back in November,” Sell said. “It also has a place where victims can provide their contact information to law enforcement and vice versa, law enforcement can also provide their information.”

Sell said state agencies have many concerns about complying with the new law.

“Cost is certainly one concern we’re hearing time and time again,” he said. “The cost of perhaps additional employees or system upgrades to implement Marsy’s Law, but I think in addition to that, it’s also, what do we need to do to follow the letter and spirit of the law.”

HB 600 (Rep. Frank Garner), passed by the 2017 Montana Legislature, directed the attorney general’s office to develop a model “Marsy’s Card,” and make the card available to local law enforcement and prosecutors. The card serves as an example, providing general guidance to law enforcement and prosecutors as they develop a card for their own jurisdiction.

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