Pennsylvania Passes Law Giving Crime Victims Legal Standing In Court

On Monday, July 11, House Bill 2464 was approved, providing support and legal standing for crime victims.

House Bill 2464, otherwise known as Marsey’s law, is intended to give victims of crime a legal standing in court. It is intended to update victim compensation, provide victims notice of events in the judicial process, and enhance victim confidentiality for domestic and sexual violence crimes, amongst other benefits. House Bill 2464 was signed in House on July 7, Signed in Senate on July 7, presented to the Governor on July 8, and approved by the Governor on July 11.

In a memorandum posted on March 22, Representative Sheryl M. Delozier proposed what would become House Bill 2464. The memorandum states, “In prior legislative sessions, I was proud to stand with many of you in supporting Marsy’s Law: A constitutional amendment to guarantee the rights of our crime victims. I was even more gratified to see more than 1.7 million Pennsylvanians voting in approval of Marsy’s Law to support our Commonwealth’s crime victims. Although the constitutional amendment was set aside by court order based on a technicality, my drive to support our crime victims continues, and I invite you to join me in co-sponsoring legislation to set into statute one of the key features of Marsy’s Law.”

“Pennsylvania already has a meaningful statutory Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights, but those protections lack an important feature. Crime victims are beholden to others, namely the prosecutors handling their cases or the agencies supervising convicted offenders, to honor those protections. Crime victims do not have the legal right – on their own – to stand in court and assert their rights. My bill would give crime victims that legal standing, so that they can be assured of receiving the very protections that we, as a General Assembly, have promised to them by law. It would not authorize any monetary penalties but instead would allow crime victims to be granted court orders directing that their rights be honored as intended by current law. This part of Marsy’s Law can be accomplished by statute, and while I have not given up my advocacy for a constitutional amendment, the urgency of supporting our crime victims could not be higher. This bill cannot wait.”

Bill Information: