Death penalty debate gets personal
As they were considering a full repeal of Maryland's death penalty, senators received the following email from Del. Craig Rice, a 36-year-old first-termer, sitting in the other side of the State House. It may have been the first time many senators had heard of or from Rice, but I wouldn't be surprised if his story affected some decisions:
From: Rice, Craig Delegate (Laptop)
Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2009 2:52 PM
To: Senate Laptops; Senate of Maryland
Subject: My personal story...that I think you should know regarding the death penalty.
I know you many of you do not know this, but back in 1993, my aunt, Mildred Horn, her quadriplegic son, Trevor (my cousin) and his full-time nurse Janice Saunders were all murdered by a man named James Perry. They were killed 5 houses down from the house I lived in and my mother was the person who discovered their bodies.
Mr. Perry, a Detroit man, was convicted and sentenced to death in Maryland for the murders of my Aunt, Trevor, and his nurse, Janice Saunders. Lawrence Horn, the divorced husband of my aunt, was sentenced to 3 life sentences for contracting the killings in an effort to inherit the proceeds from a medical malpractice settlement stemming from Trevor's condition.
I beg of you for my family and the numerous victims across the state, please do not repeal the death penalty.
My family, namely my mother and now deceased Aunt Gloria fought a tremendous battle to strike up the courage and nerve to testify in the initial hearings that lasted months and the subsequent appeals to get and preserve a death penalty verdict.
My mother still has nightmares about James Perry and Lawrence Horn and will continue to do so until they are no longer on this Earth. Just 2 months ago, my mother called me at 3am in the morning because her alarm had gone off and told me that Perry was trying to get her. She and my family will never be the same.
Senators, my personal story may be unique in the legislature, but is not unique in our State. For me as a victim, and not as a Delegate, I ask you, PLEASE DO NOT REPEAL THE DEATH PENALTY.
DELEGATE CRAIG L. RICE
Maryland House of Delegates
House Office Building, Room 223
6 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 841-3090, (301) 858-3090
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3090 (toll free)
fax: (410) 841-3112, (301) 858-3112