Samantha’s PRIDE Award For “Champions for Children” Recognizes Henry Nicholas, the “Driving Force” behind Marsy’s Law, and his Mother, Victims’ Rights Advocate Marcella Leach
Newport Beach, CA—June 12, 2010—The Joyful Child Foundation honored Henry Nicholas with its Lifetime Achievement Award at their annual Samantha’s PRIDE Awards at the Fairmont Hotel. Henry Nicholas, Co-Founder of Broadcom Corporation, was recognized for his achievements helping crime victims and furthering the cause of victims’ rights, including his leadership in the 2008 passage of the California Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights, known as Marsy’s Law.
Former Gov. Pete Wilson calls Henry Nicholas the “driving force” behind the state constitutional amendment, which has become the model for remedying the mistreatment of victims by the judicial system. Passed by California voters on Nov. 4, 2008, the law is named for Henry Nicholas’ sister, Marsy Nicholas, who was murdered in 1983.
Henry Nicholas formed “Marsy’s Law for All” last year to empower and unify the victims’ rights movement by providing technology, media support and other expertise and resources. The goal of Marsy’s Law for All is to pass a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to protect the rights of all Americans who find themselves victims of crime.
“It’s un-American to deny victims their basic rights—rights that have long been protected for those accused and even convicted of violent crimes,” said Henry Nicholas. “Now we are reaching out to victims and organizations across the country to join us in stopping once and for all this affront to our values. It is inhuman to subject American citizens to such mistreatment, especially when they are most vulnerable.”
The Joyful Child Foundation was founded in 2002 by Erin Runnion in memory of her daughter, Samantha, the five-year-old Orange County girl who was sexually assaulted and murdered that year. The Samantha’s PRIDE awards annually recognize community members who have promoted child safety by preventing abduction and sexual abuse.
Henry Nicholas praised Erin Runnion for her “courage and selflessness in turning her personal tragedy into a positive movement to protect children from harm.”
Henry Nicholas co-founded Broadcom in the spare bedroom of his Redondo Beach, CA. condominium. Under his leadership as Co-Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Broadcom set a record for growth by a semiconductor company, reaching $1 billion in revenue in 36 quarters. Henry Nicholas is applying to the victims’ rights movement the same entrepreneurial skills he used to build Broadcom into a multi-billion dollar, publicly traded company. Through his philanthropic and public service enterprises, Henry Nicholas is helping to unify and empower organizations in the area of victims’ rights to advance the causes of crime victims nationwide.
Sharing the Lifetime Achievement Award with Henry Nicholas was his mother, Marcella Leach, who after the murder of her daughter helped found Justice for Homicide Victims, a leading victims support organization. Marcella Leach for many years has been Vice Chair of Crime Victims United of California, the leading political force for victims in California. She was a signatory of the ballot initiative to pass Marsy’s Law in November, 2008, and her radio ads were instrumental in creating a successful electoral campaign.
In 2005, Marcella Leach was awarded the Victim’s Service Award by the White House. Prior to her work for victims’ rights, she was a high school teacher of English, drama, and speech, and later was an administrator with Santa Monica College and the Santa Monica Unified School District. She holds a master’s degree from UCLA.
Other honorees at the Samantha’s PRIDE awards included John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou of KFI radio’s John and Ken Show, Geoffrey Fletcher, the Academy-award winning screenwriter of the Academy Award-winning film Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, and Los Angeles Police Detective Kevin Coffey.About MarsysLawForAll.org
MarsysLawForAll is focused on expanding the constitutional rights of crime victims nationwide and supporting the use of new technologies to help unify geographically dispersed grass-roots organizations. Its new Web site, www.MarsysLawForAll.org, aims to enable the victims’ rights movement to reach new members and promote the eventual passage of a U.S. Constitutional Amendment.