Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Scales of Justice...

tipped over for me this week. I have always heard about crime victims feeling like the system failed them. However, call me a Pollyanna, I always had a bit more faith in it...until this week.

I have been checking out the county detention center which posts trial dates for current inmates. I knew that at least one of our burglars had an upcoming trial scheduled for this past week. A couple of weeks ago (before DC), Mark started trying to call the prosecutor's office so we could find out what was going on. After all we had already been through just with Mark trying to get back our camera (2 trips and a couple hours later to a nearby police department) because it looked like the only way we would get it back), I guess I should not have been that surprised. Mark ended up calling for two weeks, off and on. Finally he talked to someone yesterday.

We learned that the driver of the "getaway car" was exonerated. All charges dropped, like they didn't happen. Apparently there wasn't enough evidence? Apparently Mark meeting him in our driveway waiting for the guy who climbed in our window to come out wasn't enough. Not that anyone would know that. We were never once contacted about this case after the day of the burglary. We both had been half expecting Mark to be called to testify. Or at least give a statement. Apparently that wasn't necessary. The other guy did get jail time, but we really don't know much more than that. Maybe I will read it in the paper and find out how much. Mark asked about restitution. A police officer friend had told me that we should get that at least. He said it may take years, but they would have to be required to pay us back. I really liked that idea. It isn't about the is more that to me if you take someone's things, you should be required to pay it back. We teach our kids that at a young age. Anyway, when Mark was finally able to talk to a real person rather than a voicemail, he was told that because the "robber" was in jail, he wasn't required to pay restitution. I am still scratching my head trying to figure out how that pays us back for any of our stuff.

As you may or may not be able to tell from my tone, I am more than a little annoyed with the judicial system. I am not saying I wanted the book thrown at anyone. And I do realize our case was small in comparison with so much else going on. However, I do believe that victims of crimes have few rights. I wanted the opportunity to address a judge as well as our burglars (both of them) and let them know what consequences their actions brought to our family and our home. How we lost not only a few material things but our sense of security that will never fully be replaced. How our daughter puts on a brave front but still will bring up the robbery amid discussions, bringing me to tears each time. I feel like we should have been involved in the prosecution (or at least kept informed about it) from the very beginning. Instead it took numerous phone calls on our part (as well as unanswered e-mails) to learn this disappointing news. I hate that the money we could be using for some other things, things of our choice, is now going to our new security system's monthly charges. And I will admit, I feel victimized twice. Once by the robbers, once by the court systems. I know that nothing I say or do will change things; I just wish I had been given the chance to speak.

Moving on...
Child 1 put his glasses on first thing this morning and has worn them most of the day except when he has been outside. I really think he needs them for baseball but he is terrified of breaking them and refuses. I think he would be amazed at how much better he would be able to see the ball. I think he is just now beginning to realize that the world looks a little different than he thought it did!
I had a wonderful Girls' Night Out. We went to a local restaurant and just enjoyed eating and talking and laughing. I think those times are so very important but they are so difficult to coordinate! Everyone's lives are so busy and there are kids and housework and jobs...Anyway, I am just thankful we were able to get together. I am thankful for friends with kids who are going through some of the same things we are handling at our home. I am thankful for advice and thankful for the gift of laughter. Most of all, I am thankful for a common faith, a common desire to know Him...what is that saying? Iron sharpens iron? Thank you, girls, for loving me (in spite of me) and for challenging me as a woman/daughter of Christ.

We are going to visit (later today) with our friends Carol and John who already have the Panasonic Living in HD equipment to get an idea of what we need to do furniture wise to be ready for our new toys! I am looking forward to it!

I really need to switch out the girls' clothing. Unfortunately tomorrow another cold front is supposedly moving in which means the good weather is going to be gone...again! I don't even know how to prepare for Easter in the clothing department!

Oh, I don't think I even shared about our craziness yesterday afternoon. I just happened to glance at my phone at one point and see that I had a text message, which is fairly rare. I found out that Swim Ranch (our local swimming lesson location that my kids have gone to since age 6 months) registration had started. Last year, Mark had to wait a couple of hours I think in hopes that we could get a spot. (It is harder for us to secure lessons since we have four kiddos taking and want them at the same time/same week) Anyway, I let Mark know right away and thankfully he was able to drive out there. I think this year the wait was only 30 minutes or so. I am so grateful for that man for doing that for us each year. Thankfully we are fairly flexible as far as dates go, and we were able to secure lessons for all kids. For a while though, I was on pins and needles...

Better go. Our busy little boy is starting to stir. Have a good night!


  1. Several years back, in the middle of the night, a kid drove down our street and slammed into Paul's car. It ended up being a real hassle, although fortunately our insurance company did get money from his. However, when the time came for the trial, which was in our town, the police officer asked us if we were willing to not press charges - he'd get a hefty fine from insurance etc. I can't remember all the details but he asked and we agreed (we'd already gotten our restitution, at least). Well, when the court was presented before the judge, we found out this wasn't his first wreckless driving charge. We felt totally betrayed because had we known that,. we wouldn't have agreed to anything.
    I feel your pain in terms of the justice system.

  2. I can't beleive you weren't questioned at all... they didn't even ask what you saw or what you witnessed? Crazy!

  3. UGH! That is terrible! I would have loved to face our robbers too. The police never did find them. They just left a huge mess with the finger printing dust all over our window/wall. I know for me it has left me more aware of my surroundings at all times. I am so sorry.


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