Billionaire wants Ohio crime victims rights protected

A California billionaire whose sister was murdered 34 years ago is bringing his mission to expand crime victims’ rights to Ohio.

Henry T. Nicholas, III, co-founder of Broadcom Corp. and No. 247 on Forbes list of richest Americans , is funding an effort to put a constitutional amendment before Ohio voters that would guarantee rights to crime victims.

Named after Nicholas’ sister, Marsy’s Law for Ohio would grant crime victims rights when it comes to restitution, notification of proceedings and giving input on plea deals offered to offenders.

Marsy Nicholas was stalked and murdered in 1983 by her ex-boyfriend. The Nicholas family was not given notice that the man had been released on bail awaiting court proceedings.

Nicholas and his supporters plan to clear the first hurdle to the ballot by submitting an initial batch of signatures and a summary of the proposal to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine this week. If DeWine approves the summary language, the group will need to collect 305,591 valid signatures from registered Ohio voters by July 5 to qualify for the November ballot.

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Similar constitutional amendments have been approved by voters in California, Illinois, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana.

Mary’s Law for Ohio has support from Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien, Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs, Ohio Crime Victims Justice Center and Ohio MADD.

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