by Matthew Rothschild, Executive Director
October 24, 2017
The bill, which is called “Marsy’s Law,” has been passed in committees and now awaits floor debate.
The poisonous item says that a victim has the right “to refuse an interview, deposition, or other discovery request made by the accused or any person acting on behalf of the accused.”
This would be a facial violation of the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right … to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor…”
It would also run afoul of the “due process” clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment.
If a defendant and the defendant’s attorney cannot confront their accuser, then this fundamental right of the accused goes right out the window, and the defendant cannot get a fair trial.
The bill would have to pass this session and then the next session and then would have to be ratified by the citizens of Wisconsin before becoming law .