A funny thing happened on the way to the sentencing of the young man responsible for our son’s death…
The day before the July 22 court date, Monsieur receives a call from the Crown prosecutor. We needn’t show up for court the next day. All that will happen is that C. will fire his lawyer. He has a new one lined up who will offer new “evidence” in the case.
Now, all the evidence has already been presented in January, and a verdict has been reached. Does he now plan to use that “suicide note” to prove Paul was suicidal? That it was inevitable he would die somehow and C was just the unlucky motorist?
The possibility of his using that line of argument to further wiggle out of responsibility is deeply hurtful. For nearly three years now we’ve been grieving the loss of our boy. We’ve been involved with the justice system for almost as long, with no-shows and delays. Although a guilty verdict and sentencing will not change our lives in any way, there’s a strange sense that we are now bound to this young man by his involvement in Paul’s death. We feel we are in a suspended state of unfinished business, waiting for the case to be finally settled.
To add to our grief the accusation of suicide throws at us a new pain, another dimension of sorrow — guilt. We are confident the note will easily be proven a fake, but it’s a stress we don’t need.
And the scheme makes no sense. The case never has been about the collision that killed our son. The charge was “failure to give assistance” after an injury, and then lying to police about his damaged car being stolen (public mischief). Perhaps he hopes the extenuating circumstance will mitigate the sentence?
Reminds me of the baseball game, back in Grade 3. Bases were loaded. I was on third.
Understand, I was a pitiful athlete, small for my age, weak and slow. I was usually the second- or third-last picked when it was time for choosing up sides. My sister still remembers listening to me talk in my sleep, raising both hands in the air and crying, “I’ll get it! I’ll get it! … I lower my arms then and utter a disappointed groan.
So I know my job is to get to home base. The next batter lets a foul ball past. Then a strike, another foul. A second mighty strike at thin air. Then a hit. Batter takes off for first base and I head for home. But it’s foul! The catcher, a quick little blond kid, even shorter than I am, grabs the ball before it can hit the ground. Batter’s out.
I’m halfway home when I see the catcher coming for me, ball in hand, ready to tag me “out”.
I am not going down without a fight!
I swerve off the base-line to avoid him. He’s after me. I dart this way and the other, chased by the catcher. My classmates start to laugh, which I figure must be a good thing. He’s still gaining on me. I cut back to home base. The laughter grows. Finally, far from home, he tags me.
Yeah, this latest defense move in the court case reminds me of that. Only, not so funny.