Victims Coalition Speaks Out about Victims Memorial - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/22/05

Victims Coalition Speaks Out about Victims Memorial

Lubbock County Commissioners are set to make decision regarding the monument on Monday morning. They will either remove it, leave it or move it someplace else.

Jerome Perez's sister, Erica, was killed at the Cingular Wireless parking lot in March. “That was one of the saddest days of my life,” he said. More recently, Mark Ellison was stabbed by his step-father and watched him kill his mother.

Both want to see the victim's memorial stay. “We are going to trial. I know there will be a lot of things going through my mind. Coming out here gives you a place to escape,” said Jerome. “It is like taking our memorial and saying we can not have it because it is going to prevent criminals from having a fair trial. It makes me mad,” said Mark.

Pam Alexander works with victims and believes the monument offers a comfort area for victims and is not a persuasive tool for prosecutors. “I think it's absolutely ridiculous. The stone has no star war powers that will zap the jury when they come in and make them vote guilty,” says Alexander.

She challenges the commissioners to stand by their word. In March, they allowed the monument to be placed on the lawn. Now, the Defense Lawyers Association is threatening commissioners with a lawsuit to remove it.

Judge Tom Head says the court is caught in the middle and may end up taking it down. He says he would rather not use taxpayer money to fight this in court.

“The advocates that you saw today worked closely with the Texas crime victims compensation fund, we saved the county $700,000 in two years. Yet they are not willing to be out the expense of a lawsuit,” said Alexander.

Alexander says the monument can not be placed somewhere else because it would destroy the granite.

A decision is set for Monday morning.

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