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Defense attorneys: Marsy's Law delays keeping people in jail

SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Sioux Falls defense attorneys say people are facing longer jail stays because of delays caused by a constitutional amendment approved in November.

The Argus Leader reports that the Marsy's Law amendment is forcing court hearings to be rescheduled until victims can be notified under the measure's new requirements.

Marsy's Law establishes constitutional rights for crime victims including timely notice of criminal proceedings. The rights also extend to a victim's spouse and family members.

Minnehaha County Public Defender Traci Smith says that clients are sitting in jail while prosecutors request more time to reach out to victims as a result of the amendment.

The measure's sponsor Jason Glodt says Marsy's Law shouldn't be delaying court proceedings. He says the amendment has worked well in other states without burdening the judicial system.

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