I had both sides of the Marsy’s Law issue on my radio show yesterday.
Grant Benjamin, president of the North Dakota Fraternal Order of Police, was on to discuss his organization’s recent decision to oppose the ballot measure which is number 3 on the November ballot.
Benjamin, saying that the vote was unanimous against the measure, said it would complicate criminal investigations.
“If we’re on a scene…and we have a victim brought in for medical treatment…we may not be able to get that information,” he told me. He’s referring to text in the measure, which would amend the state constitution, allowing victims the “right to prevent the disclosure of information or records…which could disclose confidential or privileged information about the victim.”
“Our hands are being tied,” he said. He also said the measure would add “duties for law enforcement that are unnecessary.” He saw law enforcement resources are already stretched too thin for that “We’re strapped,” he said.
After I finished with Benjamin I had on Lacee Anderson, an attorney and employee of the Odney advertising firm which is promoting Marsy’s Law. I asked her about the long list of North Dakota organizations from all sides of the criminal justice system which oppose the measure.
So far groups representing state prosecutors, defense attorneys, members of law enforcement, and victim advocates have announced opposition to the measure. Also, at least two retired judges have also announced their opposition, including former state Attorney General Bob Wefald.
Anderson told me these groups and individuals don’t know what they’re talking about.
“A number of these groups are making these determinations without sitting down to learn what it’s really about,” she said.
You can listen to the audio of both interviews below: