March 21, 2017
Crime Victim Statements to Mark Becker:
Thinking about my grandmother (Bam) Joney being six feet underground- I can’t. It makes my throat clog up and tears swell. I don’t like imagining it. I couldn’t ever think of a world where Bam isn’t there. So when I read these crime victim statements of losing someone they love to a crime so horrendous, tears swell up in my own eyes for them. I couldn’t imagine ever writing a crime victim statement. I empathize with this family who lost their beloved family member, Ed Thomas.
Perhaps what caught my attention most at first was how rational Todd Thomas was within his letter to Mark Becker about his father. He writes, “the only thing you are a victim of is your own choices. And this is why it is hard for me to be sympathetic towards you.” Often we don’t think about how choices create everlasting impact, we just choose to go about as we please. And, in this case, Todd makes us see that the worst that can happen from choices we make. He keeps talking about choices and writes, “Mark, there is no doubt that you have some mental problems, I will not deny that. But there are many people with the same illnesses that choose to take their medications and choose to get the help that they need. And because they make these choices, they are able to function within our society.” Still being rational and not so much angry, which is what I would more expect.
Ed thomas’ wife, Jan Thomas, writes about the day of which Ed was shot. I found this astounding. Why did she relive this day on paper? She writes, “Ed left earl that mornuing to open the weight room, just like he had done htousands of times before. Before my work day even started, I received an ambulance call for a gunshot wound at the high school weight room. Even then I didn’t imagine it was an actual deliverate shooting… and that when i arrived on the scene, I would find my husband mortally wounded, and lying ina pool of his own blood.”
Wow. I don’t think I could write justifiable words to explain why this would be so hard for any loving spouse to do. No one should have to see that; not even Mark Becker. An irrevocable scene so heinous, even in writing it makes my legs weak.
I keep reading on and thinking to myself that this family, who going through something so unusually difficult, is so forgiving and resilient. I see this most when Jan writes, “while I think I will be able to forgive Mark for what he has done, I can’t excuse it, and as Ed always believed, we all make choices and have the power to choose- but you also have to be accountable and responsible for those choices- even if it’s years later.”
Jan touches on choices, that it is what Ed believed in, and what Todd had writen about first in his letter; it’s clear to see how respectable and thoughtful this family is, even in the worst of their times.
Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch:
- “There are a few places closer to God than walking in the wilderness.”
- “I have been the majority 97% of the time. That’s my record.”
- “That’s what I wanted. A human judge, a person… I wanted a fair judge.”