Yesterday Robert Wefald – a former judge and North Dakota Attorney General – announced that he would be chairing a committee in opposition to Marsy’s Law which will be Measure 3 on your November ballots.
I interviewed Wefald on my radio show yesterday (listen below) and he also has a guest post here on SAB this morning.
In response to Wefald’s announcement yesterday, Marsy’s Law committee chairwoman Kathleen Wrigley suggested that opponents of her ballot measure are, uh, sexist or something?
“Ironically, the arguments our opposition makes to these rights are the same arguments used against the women’s right to vote last century,” she said.
[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]”I think it’s all emotional,” he told me of the arguments in favor of Marsy’s Law during out interview yesterday. “I don’t think anything that’s being done here will benefit victims in our state.”[/mks_pullquote]
I’m not even sure how to respond to something as completely off the wall as that. What a bizarre statement.
Nor is it the first bizarre statement to come from the Marsy’s Law supporters. Back in June Wrigley was quoted in a press release from her own group saying that the victim rights groups which had come out in favor of Marsy’s Law are “callous.”
I’m not sure these sort of shrill denunciations are going to help lead Marsy’s Law to victory, especially against a growing coalition of prosecutors, defense attorneys, legal experts, and victims advocates.
Anyway, back to Wefald, “I think it’s all emotional,” he told me of the arguments in favor of Marsy’s Law during out interview yesterday, a point Wrigley seems to have proven with her rash statement above. “I don’t think anything that’s being done here will benefit victims in our state.”
“Most of the stuff they want is already law,” he continued pointing out that North Dakota already has in statute a program for alerting victims and their families (and anyone else in the public who is curious) about hearings, releases, paroles, probation, etc.
What’s more, he told me that Marsy’s Law giving alleged victims the right, pre-trial, to veto requests for depositions by the defense was unconstitutional under the 6th amendment which guarantees the accused the right to confront their victims.
Here’s the full audio: