Marsy's Law or Proposition 9, was approved by voters in California in November of 2008 and it became the strongest and most comprehensive Victim's Bill of Rights Law in the United States. Dr. Henry Nicholas, the co-founder of Broadcom Corp., was the key backer and proponent of Marsy's Law. Marsy's Law was named after Dr. Nicholas' sister Marsalee Nicholas,a student at UC Santa Barbara, who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983.
A week after she was murdered, Dr. Nicholas' and Marsy's mother walked into a grocery store after visiting Marsy's grave, and were confronted by the suspect. They had no idea he had been released on bail and at that point there was no obligation for law enforcement to keep them informed. But with the passage of Marsy's Law, victims of violent crimes must by law be treated with respect and dignity and courts must consider the safety of victims and families when setting bail and release conditions. Family members also have legal standing and the right to be heard in bail hearings, pleas, sentencing, and parole hearings.