ATLANTA, Ga -- The Georgia Senate approved a resolution on Friday letting voters decide whether to put victims' rights in the Georgia Constitution.
The measure passed by a vote of 50-4.
Thirty-five other states have already amended their constitutions to give some level of protection to crime victims.
"We're elevating victims voices to the same level as those of the accused," said Ann Casas, state director for Marsy's Law for Georgia. "Victims didn't ask to be victimized."
The resolution needs approval by two-thirds of the Georgia House of Representatives and Georgia Senate to get on the ballot in 2018.
This Constitutional amendment would to give crime victims the following rights:
- Timely notice of all hearings involving the accused.
- A chance to be heard in any decisions involving parole, pleas or sentencing.
- Notice of an inmate's release or escape.
SR 146 has bipartisan support, but a similar measure last year was tabled.
It's getting pushback from some prosecutors who say victims already have protections under state law.
Right now, crime victims can register with the state through their victim impact statements or by contacting the Georgia Office of Victim Services.
They can go online at www.pap.georgia.gov or call 404-651-6668.