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Idaho House panel spikes victims’ rights amendment

An Idaho House panel has spiked a proposed amendment to the state’s constitution to expand the rights of crime victims and their families.

The House State Affairs Committee listened to more than five hours of testimony – often emotional stories from victims – over the course of several days before making their 10-5 decision on Tuesday.

The proposal would have required that crime victims be notified of all court proceedings and be heard at each step along the way. It also would have declared that full and timely restitution is a right.

However, opponents of the bill warned that the sweeping law would negatively impact Idaho’s criminal justice system by increasing workloads and create a financial burden on already cash-strapped agencies.

The amendment, dubbed Marsy’s Law for Idaho, is named for a California woman killed in 1983 by her ex-boyfriend after he was released from jail without her being notified.

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