Memorial Held In Honor Of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
– Redlands Daily Facts, By Sandra Emerson
Pictures of murder victims were displayed outside the San Bernardino County Government Center in honor of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
The week kicked off Monday with a memorial honoring victims and their families in San Bernardino hosted by the district attorney’s office.
“We’ve come a long way, but we have a ways to go,” said San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos.
The event, themed “30 years restoring the balance of justice,” honored San Bernardino County crime victims, surviving families of homicide victims and those who work to assist victims.
Ramos said the National District Attorney’s Association is pushing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would be similar to California’s Victims Bill of Rights, or Marsy’s Law.
Several groups assisting crime victims and families of victims participated in Monday’s memorial, offering information to attendees.
“It’s important to keep people aware of different types of crimes, to educate children and prevention,” said Agnes Gibboney, leader of the Inland Empire Chapter of Parents of Murdered Children, whose son was shot and killed in 2008.
Twenty-two years after the murder of Deacon Phil Perry, his son Russell Perry, an attorney, still shares the story of the years-long wait to see the suspects brought to justice.
“I believe justice is an attempt to put the victim back in the same place as if the wrong never occurred,” Perry said. “We know that when it comes to murder, a truly just resolution can never be found. Our loved ones can never be brought back to life. It is pain the next of kin will have to endure the rest of our lives.”
Phil Perry, a deacon at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Upland, was shot and killed in 1992. His body was found in the trunk of his car in Tijuana, Mexico.
The husband of the woman Phil Perry was having an affair with, was convicted in 2002 of second-degree murder for his part in the killing and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.
The suspect’s step-sister took a plea deal.
The man accused of shooting Phil Perry was never convicted.
“Was justice served in my dad’s case?” Perry asked. “Obviously it was not the resolution I would have preferred, but this is the system we have in place. Without it, it would be anarchy.”
Perry also had words for those in the audience who recently lost loved ones and those whose cases were getting cold.
“I’m sorry. It’s going to be a long road. Stay in contact with the detectives assigned to your case,” he said. “Make sure you do not give up hope. It took nine years before an arrest was made, but one was made.”
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