A Closer Look At Amendment ‘S’, Marsy’s Law

To get voters prepared for that day, and those who are voting early, we’ve been taking a closer look at the 10 ballot measures.

Amendment ‘S’, also known as Marsy’s Law would create a bill of rights for victims and provide resources to them and their families.

Things such as protection and notifications throughout trials and sentencings would be provided in written form.

Those that are for Amendment ‘S’ say that South Dakota’s rights for victims are not clear enough.

“They are not in the constitution therefore they do not carry any weight and the provisions are weak at best,” says Tami Haug-Davis, the outreach director for Marsy’s Law.

Opponents say that currently, victims rights are mainly for those involved in violent crimes. They feel the amendment is too broad, allowing for resources to be spread too thin.

“We have not had local groups come into Pierre saying that we need more victims rights. And if they do, if there are more modifications that need to be done, that should be done in Pierre,” says Ryan Kolbeck, an attorney in Sioux Falls.

Opponents say that if the amendment is passed, the increase in services will be placed on the county, creating a physical and financial burden for them.