Marsy’s loved ones had stopped at a grocery store to pick up a loaf of bread immediately following her funeral service.
And while they were in the checkout line, Marsy’s mother was approached by the man who took her daughter’s life.
The Nicholas family was shell-shocked and had no idea that Marsy’s killer had gotten out. But, Marsy’s killer was released on one hundred thousand dollar bail only a couple of days after she was murdered.
Thankfully, Marsy’s murderer was eventually brought to justice. But the process took two more years, and the Nicholas family wanted to make sure that no other victims’ family ever unknowingly came face-to-face with a perpetrator again.
So, Marsy’s brother– Dr. Henry Nicholas III– took action. He became a key driver in pushing through legislation known as Proposition 9, the Victims’ Bill of Rights Act of 2008: Marsy’s Law, and believed that victims should have constitutional rights that are equal to people who are accused and convicted.
And after California voters backed the proposition on November 4, 2008, Marsy’s Law became the most fervent and comprehensive constitutional victims’ rights law in the country.
Following the major win in California, though, Henry did not stop. He went on to found Marsy’s Law For All in 2009– a group whose sole aim was to establish victims’ rights laws in all fifty states’ constitutions and, eventually, get these rights added to the United States Consitution.
Some of the law’s most notable rights include:
-Each victim has the right to be notified about public proceedings and attend any public proceedings that involve the case.
-Each victim has the right to be present and speak in any public proceeding that involves sentencing, plea, or release.
-Each victim has the right to ask and receive a notification when the accused or convicted party is being transferred, released, or has escaped.