Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Monday, November 30, 2015


             On this date, November 30, 1983, Marsalee Nicholas was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, Kerry Conley. Her death inspired her family members to start Marsy’s Law. Nevertheless, Unit 1012 will remember how she lived and not how she died. We also encourage people to support Marsy’s Law. R.I.P Marsalee!

Marsalee Ann Nicholas
(March 6, 1962 to November 30, 1983)

Marsalee Ann Nicholas was not only physically beautiful from birth but was a beautiful, caring person during her 21 years on earth. As a child she was always drawn to wounded animals and was drawn to any person with a problem. She became a champion English and Western horseback rider at the age of ten and qualified as the top junior English rider in Los Angeles County. At 12 she traveled to Kentucky and won the Kentucky Equestrian over Fences Championship and qualified for Madison Square Garden. In addition to riding horses she was a talented artist winning her first art contest in the 2nd grade and the last as a senior in High School. She entered the University of California at Santa Barbara when she was 17 and made extra money as a fashion model. Her educational goal was to become a special education teacher of children with handicaps, both mental and physical. In High School she had worked with blind students. She spent her junior year at UCSB abroad in England at Richmond College.

In her spare time she was given the opportunity to model in London and Milan, Italy. She came back to UCSB to finish her senior year two quarters before graduation when she was brutally murdered by an ex-boyfriend who was stalking her. 

Dr. Henry Nicholas and Marsalee Nicholas

Marsalee Ann Nicholas was home for the Thanksgiving holiday in her senior year at the University of California at Santa Barbara. She was brutally murdered by an ex-boyfriend, Kerry Conley. She had a new boyfriend and Conley threatened to kill him and then came by our house and tapped on Marsy’s window at midnight, waking her, and we believe he told her he was going “to commit suicide.” This is what he had said to a previous girlfriend in similar circumstances. Marsy raced out barefoot and drove her car down to his house 2 blocks down the street. She walked in with the keys in her hand and he met her with a shotgun aimed at her head at close range. He said the gun fell off the wall, discharged and hit her in the head. Story number two was that he shot over the head “to get her attention.” Neither story was believed by the Sheriffs who charged him with murder. Fortunately, we had compiled enough evidence of previous violence against women that he didn’t testify. One of his friends testified that he said three days before the murder that he was going to “blow Marsy’s head off.” The jury brought back a verdict of 2nd Degree Murder.

“If any good can come of something this horrible -- the loss of my sister and the losses of other families of crime victims – it is that these violent acts served as a catalyst for change, Marsy’s Law will provide for a more compassionate justice system for crime victims in California and make that a constitutional guarantee. Now the momentum can be put behind a U.S. Constitutional Amendment so that the rights of all crime victims, anywhere in America, can be protected.”
- Dr. Henry Nicholas, the brother of Marsalee Nicholas

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Whereas the shedding of innocent blood that proponents of capital punishment are responsible for is thus far, thankfully, only theoretical, the shedding of innocent blood for which opponents of capital punishment are responsible is not theoretical at all. Thanks to their opposition to the death penalty, innocent men and women have been murdered by killers who would otherwise have been put to death.

- Dennis Prager


Dennis Prager

Opponents in capital punishment have blood on their hands

Dennis Prager

11/29/2005 12:05:00 AM - Dennis Prager
Those of us who believe in the death penalty for some murders are told by opponents of the death penalty that if the state executes an innocent man, we have blood on our hands.

They are right. I, for one, readily acknowledge that as a proponent of the death penalty, my advocacy could result in the killing of an innocent person.

I have never, however, encountered any opponents of the death penalty who acknowledge that they have the blood of innocent men and women on their hands.

Yet they certainly do. Whereas the shedding of innocent blood that proponents of capital punishment are responsible for is thus far, thankfully, only theoretical, the shedding of innocent blood for which opponents of capital punishment are responsible is not theoretical at all. Thanks to their opposition to the death penalty, innocent men and women have been murdered by killers who would otherwise have been put to death.

Opponents of capital punishment give us names of innocents who would have been killed by the state had their convictions stood and they been actually executed, and a few executed convicts whom they believe might have been innocent. But proponents can name men and women who really were -- not might have been -- murdered by convicted murderers while in prison. The murdered include prison guards, fellow inmates, and innocent men and women outside of prison.

In 1974, Clarence Ray Allen ordered a 17-year-old young woman, Mary Sue Kitts, murdered because she knew of Allen's involvement in a Fresno, Calif., store burglary.

After his 1977 trial and conviction, Allen was sentenced to life without parole.

According to San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders, "In Folsom State Prison, Allen cooked up a scheme to kill the witnesses who testified against him so that he could appeal his conviction and then be freed because any witnesses were dead -- or scared into silence." As a result, three more innocent people were murdered -- Bryon Schletewitz, 27, Josephine Rocha, 17, and Douglas White, 18.

This time, a jury sentenced Allen to death, the only death sentence ever handed down by a Glenn County (California) jury. That was in 1982.

For 23 years, opponents of the death penalty have played with the legal system -- not to mention played with the lives of the murdered individuals' loved ones -- to keep Allen alive.

Had Clarence Allen been executed for the 1974 murder of Mary Sue Kitts, three innocent people under the age of 30 would not have been killed. But because moral clarity among anti-death penalty activists is as rare as their self-righteousness is ubiquitous, finding an abolitionist who will acknowledge moral responsibility for innocents murdered by convicted murderers is an exercise in futility.

Perhaps the most infamous case of a death penalty opponent directly causing the murder of an innocent is that of novelist Norman Mailer. In 1981, Mailer utilized his influence to obtain parole for a bank robber and murderer named Jack Abbott on the grounds that Abbott was a talented writer. Six weeks after being paroled, Abbott murdered Richard Adan, a 22-year-old newlywed, aspiring actor and playwright who was waiting tables at his father's restaurant.

Mailer's reaction? "Culture is worth a little risk," he told the press. "I'm willing to gamble with a portion of society to save this man's talent."

That in a nutshell is the attitude of the abolitionists. They are "willing to gamble with a portion of society" -- such as the lives of additional innocent victims -- in order to save the life of every murderer.

Abolitionists are certain that they are morally superior to the rest of us. In their view, we who recoil at the thought that every murderer be allowed to keep his life are moral inferiors, barbarians essentially. But just as pacifists' views ensure that far more innocents will be killed, so do abolitionists' views ensure that more innocents will die.

There may be moral reasons to oppose taking the life of any murderer (though I cannot think of one), but saving the lives of innocents cannot be regarded as one of them.

Nevertheless, abolitionists will be happy to learn that Amnesty International has taken up the cause of ensuring that Clarence Ray Allen be spared execution. That is what the international community now regards as fighting for human rights.