More than 20 years ago my brother, Christopher Kolb, was killed by a gun fired by his girlfriend’s teenage sibling. The juvenile was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, served time in Idaho’s juvenile detention system and is now free.
Losing my brother to violent crime makes me a crime victim, a label I didn’t seek or would ever wish upon anyone.
But the experience provided a unique glimpse into Idaho’s legal system and the second-rate role victims are often required to play.
At times, I endured hurtful and inappropriate interactions with the defendant and his family. I was traumatized to learn after the fact about his release from the juvenile system. These experiences and others created a feeling of being victimized all over again.
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The proposed constitutional amendment called Marsy’s Law for Idaho would level the playing field. Written by and for Idahoans, Marsy’s Law would give victims the right to confer with prosecutors, additional notification and a stronger voice in the justice system.
As a victim, it makes sense to support Marsy’s Law for Idaho. It’s why I’m urging legislators to say “yes” to Marsy’s Law and give voters the chance to take victims’ rights to the next level.
Kathleen Schipani, Mountain Home