Press Release: New Poll Shows Marsy’s Law Has Overwhelming Support Across South Dakota

marsys law

New Poll Shows Marsy’s Law Has Overwhelming Support Across South Dakota

A new scientific poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies shows South Dakota voters support Marsy’s Law, also known as Constitutional Amendment S, to expand rights for crime victims by an overwhelming 70%-18% margin. The poll also shows that when voters are given more information about Amendment S, support climbs to 84%-12%.  The poll further shows that even after voters hear the likely back-and-forth messaging points on either side of Amendment S, nearly three-quarters of South Dakota voters say they’d vote yes with a margin of 74%-18%.

“South Dakota has some of the weakest crime victim rights in the nation. We are pleased to see South Dakotans overwhelmingly support Amendment S,” said Jason Glodt, Former Assistant Attorney General and State Director for Marsy’s Law. “Voters in South Dakota believe that crime victims in our state deserve the same constitutional protections as their offenders. Nothing more, nothing less. Tens of thousands of South Dakotans have already signed petitions to put Marsy’s Law on the ballot and we are continuing to build on that support. We are confident we will keep this overwhelming support through November.” said Glodt.

Marsy’s Law for South Dakota is a Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights that is named after Marsalee “Marsy” Ann Nicholas. Marsy was a beautiful, vibrant University of California Santa Barbara student who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Only a week after Marsy was murdered, her mother Marcella and her brother Nick walked into a grocery store after visiting her daughter’s grave and were confronted by the accused murderer. They had no idea that he had been released on bail.

From Public Opinion Strategies:


▪ There’s overwhelming support for Constitutional Amendment S.

By an overwhelming 70%-18% margin, South Dakota voters support Constitutional Amendment S, the amendment to expand rights for crime victims. Support for this Amendment extends across every key South Dakota demographic and geographic group:

▪ Once South Dakotans learn more information about this Amendment, often called Marsy’s Law, support climbs even higher.

After voters get the following information about Marsy’s Law, support for Constitutional Amendment S increases to 84%-12%:

“This Amendment, often called Marsy’s Law, is named after a 21-year-old college senior who wasmurdered in 1983 and was written as a result of the experiences her brother and parents faced after her murder when they were often treated as though they had no rights.

Under current South Dakota law, those accused and convicted of a crime are granted specific rights and protections, while victims of a crime ARE NOT given these equal rights. This proposed Amendment would guarantee that victims of a crime are notified, heard and granted standing to ask that those rights be protected.

In addition, this measure would ensure that victims of crime are notified of bail hearings, as well as any parole, release or escape of a criminal. And, it would create equal rights and standing for crime victims and finally grant victims and their families the voice they deserve.”

▪ Finally, even after testing statements AGAINST Constitutional Amendment S, support remains well above 70%.

After voters hear the likely back-and-forth messaging points on either side of this Amendment, nearly three-quarters of South Dakota voters say they’d vote YES (74%-18%). This demonstrates the significant positive feelings toward this Amendment, and the difficulty any NO campaign would have in defeating it on the ballot this Fall.


Constitutional Amendment S looks headed toward a resounding victory this Fall, as voters are strongly inclined to support it initially, and after hearing about its connection to Marsy’s Law, the YES side climbs even higher. And, even after voters are presented with some messaging points against the Amendment, support for this ballot issue remains well above 70%.

23 Replies to “Press Release: New Poll Shows Marsy’s Law Has Overwhelming Support Across South Dakota”

  1. Victim

    This is the one Amendment on the ballot this year that I support! Being amoung the last states in the nation to pass constitutional rights for victims is not something to be proud of.

    1. Paul

      There is no Constitutional rights for victims because the Constitution of the United States was designed to protect the people from the actions of the government. We are not the last state to pass such protections because there are none. The reason that defendant’s have constitutional rights in South Dakota is because they are granted them by the US Constitution, and therefore are required by the South Dakota Constitution.

      The cost to this measure, and the problems to the court system are why both the defense attorneys and the State’s attorney’s are opposing this measure.

      Nice job on being swayed by an out of State multi millionaire that could care less about the cost to South Dakota.

      1. Anonymous


        Nice job on botching the English language, does nothing but help the other side. Get it together.

        1. Paul

          Replying as anonymous and the best you can argue is my grammar? Two things that show you are incapable of arguing the points of this Amendment.

      1. Anonymous

        Glodt is saying he’s a former assistant AG because it ads credibility to his opinion. What does the actual AG think? That’s what I want to know.

  2. Victim

    This is the one Amendment on the ballot this year that I support! Being among the last states in the nation to pass constitutional rights for victims is not something to be proud of.

  3. Anonymous

    I’m curious if the bar association is opposed to this what does Marty Jackley think?

  4. Michael Wyland

    I think people are supportive of the concept of victims’ rights, but haven’t investigated the specifics of the initiative. How will the initiative affect current law, regulation, and practice? I suspect the SD Bar Assn.’s concerns are with the effects rather than the principle.

    From the Argus Leader (

    “But opponents, including representatives from the South Dakota State’s Attorneys Association and the state association of criminal defense lawyers, stood to express their disagreement with the measure. They said it was unnecessary and would clog up the justice system, preventing victims from getting appropriate resources.”

  5. Anonymous

    Did the poll mention that this is funded by an out-of-state ultra liberal billionaire? I’d be curious to see how much it drops when people find out the truth of the matter.

  6. Kevin Hipple

    I am not opposed to the concept, but I am opposed to another unfunded mandate. Who is going to pay to do all this? I suspect we will saddle counties with more costs without a funding source.

    1. Anonymous

      I’m surprised the AG is so silent on a constitutional amendment that the BAR association opposes. Marty should disavow this. Why is he silent?

      1. Anonymous

        Because he is going ti run for govenor. Why take a position against something so many unwittingly support.

  7. Anonymous

    Fitzgerald spoke about this years ago. He will make a great attorney general. Go Fitzgerald!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Anonymous

      I sense he is running. I would not support him. Seward or Gosch are better options and Fitzgerald lost to Larry Long in 2002. .

      1. Anonymous

        Fitzgerald is a prosecutor. Seward and Gosch are politicans. The Larry Long race was rigged. No other prosecutor in the state of South Dakota has the experience Fitzgerald has. He has earned the spot. He has been fighting for the people of South Dakota. He’s not going to cocktail parties asking for votes. He is working in the trenches.

    1. Anonymous

      Fitzgerald is most experienced. No question about that. The unique story about him is what movies are made of. The mob tried to assassin his father. His father lost a leg in the bombing of his car. His family were victims of violence. I see no other candidate in South Dakota that can match the history of his family. When you are 12 years old it’s difficult to forget the police breaking down your front door armed with weapons to save your mother and four siblings, as your father lies in a hospital fighting for his life because the mob put a bomb in his car. Or how his family was hidden under police protection. This man knows what being a victim of violence is like, he lived it. That is why he became a prosecutor.