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It's déjà vu all over again for Kentucky's embattled crime victims' right amendment

Josh James

A crime victim's rights bill — passed twice by Kentucky voters — is back before the state Supreme Court.

It's been a case of ups and downs for the bill known as Marsy's Law.

The effort to inscribe guaranteed victims' rights in the state constitution, such as reasonable protection from the accused and the right to be notified of court hearings, was first voided over language. The high court ruled the question on the ballot was too vague, sending the matter back to the legislature.

"And so, from this day forward, (the Supreme Court) said you need to put the entire amendment on the ballot, so that's what we've done," Marsy's Law advocate Sen. Whitney Westerfield explained, ahead of the second statewide vote.

But even with the expanded wording, and another stamp of approval from voters, the law is back before the court.

Why? Opponents say the legislature failed to go through the proper process to get the measure back on the ballot, thus voiding the amendment a second time.

The defense is arguing the court should dismiss the case for lack of standing.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.