Friday, May 29, 2009

Went to a Meeting for People who Lost Loved Ones to Homicide

The last blog didn't get read, but in it I wrote about how I met with a parole officer. A girl who was involved in my father's homicide was up for parole after only a year in jail. I need to write to the officer, so he can email me--he said he can't tell me outright over email but he can say "in so many words"--the results of her parole hearing. I'm really thinking that she won't get out this time, but he says she will not serve her whole sentence. As an accessory, her offense is not considered violent, so she won't have to do Mississippi's required 80% of her sentence. She will get credit for time served and be out in three years, max.

So, I said that I wanted to tried to get the laws changed. It won't affect her, but it will give me something to contribute. I want 'accessory' to a murder to be considered a violent offense. I want higher maximum penalties for the crime. Yes, a judge can still give a lenient sentence, but I want the possibility of more than 5 years maximum. I guess this seems to be a pipe dream. I know it will be an uphill battle to change anything. I thought I'd start by going to a meeting for "Survivors of Homicide Victims," because if anyone would be willing to fight for change, these people surely would.

I'd gone once before a year ago, and seen a woman there who'd lost her husband just a few months before. Last year, it had been two years since my dad died, and this woman's face kept reminding me of something. Her eyes were just so angry that they burned. I can't describe it any other way. He had been run down by a drunk driver, and justice was her mission.

I realized as I was leaving that she reminded me of me. The look that is some kind of mix of shock, rage, disgust, damage. You tuck it in over time, but those first few months it is there, and you really are only aware of it because, looking into the eyes of others, you see pity and your pain reflected. This woman was not at the meeting I went to last night, but she was mentioned. She is going for the death penalty.

The meeting last night was hard. One woman lost her daughter less than 6 months ago. She looks awful. She is having to hire doctors and detectives. The murderer might get away with it. I said nothing of lobbying the state senators. I know I have to put in my time. Gauge things. The group is a place for people to expel their grief and rage, as best they can.

I miss my father. I would never have thought he would die in that way. I can't even explain the disappointment I feel about life. That is one of the worse things--this idea I thought I had of how bad life could get, the way I thought I was jaded enough--was wrong. I guess I trusted that certain things wouldn't happen in my family, even without knowing it. I still sometimes can't believe that someone would do what they did to him. There is really nothing else to say.