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SD-Marsy's Law-Conflict

SD-Marsy's Law-Conflict

South Dakota constitutional amendment creates conflict


The Associated Press - November 13, 2017

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - A South Dakota constitutional amendment that passed last November to provide new protections to crime victims' rights has created conflicts for defense attorneys, law enforcement and county officials.

The Argus Leader reports that Marsy's Law has led to several changes, including revising the process to release accident reports. The law also created new responsibilities for law enforcement officers who inform victims of their rights.

Defense lawyers also say additional hurdles of victim notification can cause avoidable jail time for their clients.

Minnehaha County Public Defender Traci Smith says a clause intended to protect victims from harassment can stand in the way of attorneys' duty to contact victims on their client's behalf. Smith says a victim's constitutional rights are usurping her clients' constitutional rights.

Experts expect legal fights over the issues.



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