Friday, November 12, 2004

How do I feel now?.......

Over the past few weeks you have all been aware that I have been somewhat interested in the Scott Peterson trial. This is the case of a man whose 8 month pregnant wife Laci went missing on Christmas Eve. It turned out that he had gone fishing 90 miles away on that day and didn’t know where she was when he returned home. Then a woman came forward saying that she had been having an affair with Scott and that he had told her two weeks before his wife went missing that “he had lost his wife” which she took to mean that his wife had died. Two months later, his wife’s body turns up in the very bay that he was fishing in, then the next day, the body of their unborn son turned up in the same area. When the police arrested him later that day he was found 20 miles away from the Mexican border with $15,000 in cash, bleached hair, his brothers ID and a ton of camping gear. No sign of any golf clubs (he told police he was going golfing)! For more info go to Court TV.

Anyway, the case was entirely circumstantial and the prosecution had a hard time proving the case and for the 5 months the case was in court, it looked like it was going to be a “Not Guilty” verdict. People were saying that even though he obviously killed her, there just wasn’t the evidence. Now being at home for the past few months I have been watching Court TV avidly and have been praying for a guilty verdict. I even had the verdict sent to my cell phone lest I be out of the house when it came in.

I watched the verdict come in today and I have to tell you that my heart was pounding, I was nervous, sweating and just all out of sorts at the thought that he may get off with the double murder. It came in Guilty (rightly so).

The judge in the case would not allow cameras to be in court (a wonderful thing here in the US) but he would allow an audio feed. Listening to the jurors file into court, give their verdict, gasps from the crowd and hearing the relatives sobbing just hit me hard.

What hit me even harder were the cameras outside the courthouse showing the crowds all cheering and smiling and shouting “Guilty! Guilty!” Looking pleased, almost as though they had won something, perhaps a prize.

And I started to wonder…… was I like these people?......... just baying for Scott’s blood? Was I this heartless? Did I feel like I had won something? Was I just soul-less?

I tell you, I sat back for a good 20 minutes just thinking about my feelings and thoughts. I thought about Laci Peterson, Conner Peterson, the family who would never know their grandson, never get to see their daughter show her son love and happiness. I heard them crying hysterically in court, I have seen them anguished when she went missing, when they were searching for her, I heard their taped phone calls to Scott. It was very very depressing and just filled me with sadness.

But then I remembered the phone calls that Scott made to his girlfriend from the Search Center that was organizing help for the search for Laci. I recalled the relief in his voice and the whistle he made when he was told that what they thought was a body they had found in the bay was in fact an old anchor. I recall him going to a party with his girlfriend and her daughter and friends while his wife (who was one month away from giving birth to their first child) was attending a party alone without him. I recall his tears on the TV cameras saying that he could never go into the baby’s room until their was a baby to put in there, and I remember seeing the camera shots of the room later that day he had since filled with chairs and cabinets and mattresses and other rubbish from his garage. I recall him trying to sell the house less than two weeks after she went missing and asking whether the police were going to start using cadaver dogs and when should he start going to grief counseling - all this before they had even found her body.

So thinking about all that, I feel that he got what he deserved but nobody won in this whole thing. Not one person won anything, all was lost. I am not cheering and jeering, not smiling and happy, but rather more satisfied that justice has been served.

Some closure has been made but this by far does not mean that Laci and Conner will have been forgotten.

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