Missoula Co. Attorney seeks to keep new hires after law struck d - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Missoula Co. Attorney seeks to keep new hires after law struck down

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MISSOULA - The Missoula County Attorney’s office hopes to keep the two new victim witness coordinators that were added to their staff as they prepared to comply with Marsy’s Law, which has now been ruled unconstitutional.

County Attorney Kirsten Pabst says they proactively hired the new employees because they were confident the law was going to pass. She says they were also confident in the idea of Marsy’s Law, which elevated victims rights to those of a criminal defendant and expanded the definition of a victim.

Pabst says the initiative, however, got hung up on how it was drafted and how it affected other clauses in the Montana Constitution.

There are a total of three victim witness coordinators who now work with victims of violent crime in Missoula County, and Pabst says the increase has resulted in a more responsive county attorney’s office. 

“The reason for that happening was Marsy’s Law," Pabst said. "Since Marsy’s law has been deemed basically invalid, we are really hoping to maintain those positions, and maintain that level of service that we have become accustomed to providing and that the community has become accustomed to receiving.”

The two staff members will keep working at least until the end of this fiscal year in July. It will be up to the county commissioners to renew the positions then. 

Montana voters passed Marsy's law in last year's November elections.

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