Yesterday I noted retired counselor Karen Miller’s argument that Amendment S, the purported crime victims bill of rights, actually invades crime victims’ privacy by expanding the definition of “victim” to include relatives and close friends of actual victims, without requiring that those relatives and close friends have experienced any direct or threatened harm from the alleged crime.
Strangely, Jason Glodt says the words of his own amendment don’t mean what they say, and the courts will agree:
He says the amendment gives victims greater privacy, not less, and he relies on the courts to keep the amendment from creating confusion.
“You can’t have an absurd result, and no court would ever rule that that definition could produce an absurd result that would allow such people who are not harmed to claim victim status…” [Victoria Wicks, “Counselor Says Marsy’s Law Violates Victims’ Confidentiality; Glodt Says It Increases Privacy,” SDPB Radio, 2016.10.14].
That’s odd: Glodt says we need Amendment S in the first place because we can’t trust our courts to enforce the existing crime victims bill of rights in South Dakota law. Yet when Glodt floats a poorly worded amendment, he trusts the courts to reinterpret his amendment into something different from the actual words on which we are voting.
I’d rather vote for an amendment that does what it actually says than roll the dice with courts whom spokesman Glodt selectively trusts.
The definition of “victim” in Marsy’s Constitutional Amendment is clearly worded. There is only one interpretation the court can make. Grandparents, grandkids, parents, siblings of victims are all victims too. Even if your grandparents live out of state – they are still victims if you are. You have siblings spread all over the country – they are all victims if you are. That’s what it says, clearly. They all must be given notice under Marsy’s Constitutional Amendment.