The Painful Insanity Of The Legal System

To Review: On a sunny Sunday afternoon, July 28, 1991, we were driving home for a bbq after go-carting with friends when an oncoming car crossed two lanes into ours. To avoid being hit, my husband steered to the shoulder but the oncoming car clipped the back end of our van which spun around and landed on its side. The back seat flew out with three kids belted to it. You know the rest (see Blog #1)
The 19 year old young man who hit us was charged with 2 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 2 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. The case proceeded to court more than a year later. He was acquitted of all charges. It seems it’s ok to fall asleep at the wheel and kill people if the crown fails to prove that the driver, “felt sleepy before he fell asleep’’.
I didn’t understand how the accused had a right to a high powered attorney and we had not. ‘’The people (our families)’’ are represented by ‘’the crown’’.  We were excluded from many pre-trial hearings that took place behind closed doors. Who knows what was said and what deals made?  I could see that criminal proceedings were a big game — rehearsing, acting, bringing up things that had no relevance and so on. Although stress made my mouth dust-dry, I was warned that if I chewed gum the judge would halt proceedings to tell me to get rid of it. During a recess I overheard someone in the gallery observe that he was bored and falling asleep. Observations like this during a court case involving my children’s deaths, and the ultimate verdict, drove me crazy.
Here are some of the insane things I did:
I had a t-shirt made with my children’s picture on it saying ‘’The Judge Says It’s OK to Drive Sleep & Kill’’;
I had the same wording on a sign in the back window of my truck;
I had buttons made with my children’s picture on them;
I would call the ‘’high powered attorney’s’’ house at all hours of the night (he had eight children) and would leave him a message asking how he could sleep at night defending killers;
I would call the house of the accused to leave hateful messages;
I would track him down playing baseball, golf etc. and ask if he was having a nice life and call him a liar;
I sought him out at his work on Christmas day to wish him a Merry Christmas.
One year after the accused was acquitted, we attended Appeal Court in Toronto where he was again acquitted.  I left the courtroom and followed the lawyer who had been appointed to represent the defence. She looked about eight months pregnant. At the top of my lungs, I shouted, ‘’You like to represent killers. Maybe one day, one will come into your lane and kill your child.’’
Footnote: A friend of mine lost his son a month ago. A hit & run and the driver left him on the side of the road to die.  One week later they found the killer and the court proceedings have begun. My friend is so angry and justifiably so. I do not envy the hard road that lies ahead for him and his family.

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One Comment

  1. WOW…this blog brought me reminders and tears to my eyes.
    I remember Fter Sara’s accident I so wanted to run into Marc Avon. The guy who got her into this condition.
    Wasn’t sure what I wanted to say to him but I knew the words would come out.
    I finally had the chance and ran into him on a sunny June day at Carlingwood mall.

    I said Marc…Marc Avon …how the hell are you?
    He was obviously very nervous and hesitated with his words.
    I proceeded to tell him it must be nice walking…yes walking outside on such a beautiful warm sunny day.
    All he said was ugh…ugh…ugh.
    I then said you know what I wish for you?
    Not that you end up like Sara cause that would hurt your mother too much but that you think of Sara every single day of your life and how she will never walk again.
    I then walked away shaking.

    Thanks for sharing


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