Both sides of Marsy's Law and the rights of crime victims

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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) North Dakota voters will be deciding five measure on November's ballot.

Measure three deals with expanding the rights of crime victims.

Opponents says such expansion is unnecessary and they made stops around the state to argue their point on Wednesday.

The Valley News team has both sides.

Measure three or Marsy's Law proposes to give more constitutional rights to crime victims but there's a growing opposition in North Dakota.

Right now, seven organizations including North Dakota Trial Lawyers, the Victims Assistance Association and Retired District Court Judges are against it.

"That was never vetted through the legislative process and it's a measure that prosecutors and defense attorney's alike see that there's more litigation problems in it," says the North Dakota State's Attorney Associations Aaron Birst.

"Through a debate in the legislature, we could see what the plus and minuses are and we'd also see what the cost would involve," says the No On 3 Chair Bob Wefald.

Wefald, who is a former North Dakota Attorney General, says the provision is flawed with vague language and the definition of a crime victim is unclear making it difficult to enforce.

"Victims is not defined and the problem with that is you lose focus on those victims who really need those services and you could have victims who traditionally wouldn't be thought of as a victim demanding services and that would take away the resources," adds Birst.

A big supporter of Marsy's law is North Dakota chair Kathleen Wrigley, who is the wife of Lt. Governor Drew Wrigley.

She issued a written statement which says in part, "The arguments our opposition make to these rights are the same arguments used against the women's right to vote last century. clearly, the 19th amendment was the right thing to do, just as measure 3 is the right thing to do now. when we know better, we must do better."

Similar initiatives are being considered in Montana and South Dakota.

It's called Marsy's Law after Marsy Nicholas who was stalked and murdered by her ex-boyfriend.