A New Friend's Letter on Day of Sentencing

Many friends, family and strangers are gathered here in support of Queena this morning.  I, for one, am very lucky to be here. In March of 2008, just one month before Kendrick Morris brutally attacked and raped Queena, leaving her behind the Bloomingdale library to die, I had a massive stroke. Although, my story and outcome are very different from hers. My stroke was a medical mystery. Why would a seemingly healthy 22 year old girl have a massive stroke out of nowhere?  No one knows and doctors can only ponder. The predictions of my outcome were bleak and I was given a 1% chance to live my first week in the ICU, however, unlike Queena, I made a full recovery. Queena's story is very different. I met Queena in the Rehabilitation Hospital where we both struggled to regain our independence. My stroke was out of the blue, a mystery to everyone; it was like God chose me. I think he chose me to act as support for others, like Queena's family. Queena's disabilities did not come from a freak accident or a medical mystery like mine, but the savage acts of Kendrick Morris on the night of April 24, 2008 as he strangled the life from her body and cut off the oxygen to her brain. While he was strangling my dear friend and leaving her to die, he forever changed her life and the lives of so many other people that love and care for her. 
 
Judge Tharpe, I ask you, what would you do if you could never eat another slice of chocolate cake on your birthday? Or never see a glowing sunset at the beach full of pinks, purples and oranges? Or never again, wrap your arms around your mom and sister and simply say "I love you"? Kendrick Morris - What would you do? Queena will never again be able to enjoy these simple pleasures in life because of what you did to her that night. Your brutal attack has left her body and mind intact, but has taken away her independence to enjoy simple things in life that we take for granted every single day. While you are serving your sentence, although in a jail cell, you will be able to walk and run, eat regular food without a feeding tube, use the bathroom all by yourself and actually watch television, not just listen to the sounds from the hospital bed that you were placed in by your nurse.
 
Your Honor, I hope you will bestow the maximum sentence allowed on Kendrick Morris - not only for the brutal attack of Queena but also for the innocent woman he attacked the year before.  Neither of these women asked for the brutal attacks that they endured. Although Queena's family has forgiven him for what he has done, the simple pleasures he receives in jail are still more than Queena can experience on her own today and maybe forever.
 
Rachel 



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