WENY News - Voters may be asked to weigh on in victims' rights this year

Voters may be asked to weigh on in victims' rights this year

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The rights of crime victims would be enshrined in the Pennsylvania Constitution under a proposed amendment that could go before the state's voters later this year.
  
Opponents are warning the change, part of a national effort, has the potential to end up violating the rights of criminal defendants.
  
The amendment would enumerate rights for victims that include being notified about all hearings and being allowed to attend them.
  
It would spell out that victims have the ability to weigh in during plea hearings, sentencings and parole proceedings.
  
It would also guarantee "a prompt and final conclusion" of the case and post-conviction proceedings and the right to full restitution.
  
There are questions about how judges will respond when a victim seeks to enforce those rights.

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