Judge to Rule on Whether a Marsy’s Law Provision Is Constitutional

Shane Goettle, a member of the committee sponsoring Marsy's Law, speaks at a press conference in the state Capitol prior to petitions, shown in front of podium, being delivered to the Secretary of State's office in May 2016. (Tom Stromme /Bismarck Tribune file photo)

MINOT, N.D. — Marsy’s Law is a bad idea shoved into our state constitution, over the nearly united objections of those working in North Dakota’s criminal justice system, by voters who were bamboozled with a slick initiated measure campaign exclusively bankrolled by a drug-addled California billionaire.

The existence of this public policy abomination is an indictment of North Dakota’s loosey-goosey initiated measure process, which allows pretty much anyone with enough money to buy their pet issues onto the ballot where the often distracted and ill-informed electorate might just approve it.

Billed as a “victim’s right amendment,” in the years since it became law, there is little in the way of discernible progress toward protecting victims, though it has driven protracted litigation in our court system.

Case in point, in a criminal case before the Northwest District Court, the lawyer for a man accused of shooting two other men, killing one and wounding another, has been attempting to depose the surviving man as a witness in preparation for trial.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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