Honoree received special recognition during the awards ceremony
hosted April 8, 2005, by the Office for Victims of Crime to honor
victim advocates, organizations, and programs in the field of
than 20 years ago, Marcella Nicholas Leach suffered the trauma
of both violent victimization and re-victimization by the criminal
justice system. On November 30, 1983, her only daughter, Marsalee
Ann Nicholas, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend who was stalking
week after the funeral, Marcella ran into the murderer coming
out of the market. As it turns out, he had been released on $50,000
bond. Because he lived only two blocks from her, she had to bear
the sight of him regularly driving by her house in his new Porsche.
Almost 2 years passed before the ex-boyfriend went to trial.
this time, Marcella has spent a great deal of her time working
to ensure that the injustice of her daughter's case would not
befall other family members of homicide victims.
assumed a role as advocate for strong victims' rights at the local
and federal level. She joined Ellen Dunne, whose daughter Dominique
was strangled to death by an ex-boyfriend, as a founding board
member of Justice for Homicide Victims, Inc.
this organization, she has provided support for thousands of crime
victims and blocked paroles for many convicted felons.
vice-chair of Crime Victims United, a California, statewide advocacy
group, Marcella has helped to pass dozens of laws that strengthen
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