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Y Supporters Admit Marsy’s Law Hurts Crime Victims

KELO-TV exaggerates just a bit when it says, “Supporters, Opponents Clash over Amendment to Marsy’s Law.” The report features just one opponent—little old me—and “clash” may exaggerate the nature of our verbal disagreement.

But at least this report features both victim advocate Michelle Markgraf and Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead admitting what we opponents of Marsy’s Law were trying to tell you in 2016: Henry T. Nicholas’s vanity amendment has actually made it harder for the state to help crime victims.

Michelle Markgraf with the Compass Center says the law as it is added barriers for advocates for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

“It was tougher for us to give victim witness assistance to help with survivors because they had so much other paperwork they had to do,” Markgraf said.

Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead says Amendment Y will allow investigators to share information with the public.

“If there’s a robbery at Sammy’s Pizza, we’d like to be able to say that,” Milstead said.

Milstead says that will make it easier for investigators.

“We want to be able to continue to utilize the eyes and ears of the public to help solve crimes,” Milstead said [Brady Mallory, “Supporters, Opponents Clash over Amendment to Marsy’s Law,” KELO-TV, 2018.05.21].

Gee, if we hadn’t passed Marsy’s Law in the first place, we wouldn’t need Marsy’s Fix now.

Brady Mallory lets me remind everyone that my opposition to Marsy’s Law in 2016 was rooted in my legislative conservatism:

Heidelberger says the only way to fix Marsy’s Law is to repeal it.

“South Dakota had perfectly good crime victims’ Bill of Rights written into statute as of 1991. Things were fine,” Heidelberger said [Mallory, 2018.05.21].

Crime victims rights weren’t broken in South Dakota until we passed Marsy’s Law. Now we need to fix those rights by going back to the way things were. The proponents of Amendment prove my point: instead of jury-rigging our bad 2016 amendment, the best fix is to reject Amendment Y and put a full repeal of Marsy’s Law to a vote ASAP (Hey, Mark Mickelson: how about a special session after the primary?).

Related Reading: KDLT also exaggerates a bit in its coverage of the debate over Marsy’s Fix. Anndrea Anderson says, “Heidelberger is leading the opposition to the amendment.” The verb leading paints a picture far larger than reality and might accurately be omitted from that sentence. ;-)


  1. grudznick 2018-05-21

    I don’t entirely disagree with Mr. H on this Y issue. In fact, it is Mr. Jackley’s association with that Glodt fellow who hoodwinked the Marsy’s Law onto the ignorant voters in the first place that is what I view as Mr. Jackley’s biggest flaw.

    But when Mr. H says:

    Gee, if we hadn’t passed Marsy’s Law in the first place, we wouldn’t need Marsy’s Fix now.

    I can’t help but be reminded that if the ignorant voters hadn’t been hoodwinked into voting for the henious IM #22 as well, we would not have had to fix it. And like how Mr. H feels about Marsy’s law, I wish they would have just repealed the IM #22 in its entirety and not tried to “fix” stuff that didn’t need fixing.

    Marsy’s law and the IM #22 are really similar.
    Maybe in some way’swe can blame Mr. Jackley for both.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-05-22

    Marsy’s Law and IM 22 are not similar in any way other than the fact that they won majority votes in 2016. Marsy’s Law was totally unnecessary. IM 22 offered multiple useful reforms.

    Jackley is not to blame for either… but his association with Glodt is worth bringing up insofar as Glodt may have used the voter data he gathered during the Marsy’s Law petition drive and campaign to improve Jackley’s campaign mailing list.

    The Legislature did repeal IM 22 entirely, despite vigorous grassroots lobbying. The Legislature proposed putting repeal of Marsy’s Law on the ballot, then caved under pressure from one Californian.

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