Prepared Statement

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by SFC Ollie, May 7, 2010.

  1. SFC Ollie
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    SFC Ollie Still Marching

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    Ok some of you might know that my father was injured last year by (allegedly) one of the workers at his assisted living home. He died as a result of those injuries and the coroner ruled it "homicide do to complications of injuries caused by another".

    Next week the young lady faces the jury charged with abuse of a patient. If she is founfd guilty my family has asked me to speak for them.

    Here is the prepared statement I have ready, Tell me what you think.

    Your Honor,

    My name is ****** Oliver, and I have a short statement to read which I hope will show
    most of my families feelings on this case.

    Our father raised 7 children, 3 of which were step children. It made no difference to him, we were all his kids. I don’t believe there was ever a time he treated any of us any different than any other. Nor could he have loved any of us any differently.

    We were raised not to hate or to even carry a grudge, and though we were taught to walk away from trouble, when possible, we were also taught to face trouble when it came at us.

    Dad used to tell us how he never wanted to live with any of us. That it wouldn’t be right. We finally did have to place him where we believed he would be safe. Where trouble would not find him.

    On 30 July of last year Dad had trouble come straight at him and he couldn’t have walked away if he tried. We believe a great injustice was done. And we believe the person responsible for it should pay for that injustice.

    We are not lawyers, but common sense people, we grew up in simple times in a rough neighborhood. We do not know the law, but we know that our Father was taken from us years before he was ready to leave.

    We cannot express the words that can show how we miss him.
    Nothing can bring back his little jokes, His smiles, and his reassuring hand.

    We can do no more than ask that the maximum punishment be levied in this case.

    Thank you.
     
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  2. George Costanza
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    George Costanza A Friendly Liberal

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    An EXCELLENT statement.

    In addition to being very well worded, it is also correct in a way you might not have thought about - it is directed to the judge, rather than to the defendant. This is the way victim's statements should be presented.

    I have seen quite a few victim's impact statements made in open court. More often than not, they are not made to the judge but rather directly to the defendant. The injured party will turn and address the defendant directly: "You have ruined my life by your actions. You are a horrible person. You should be given the maximum punishment."

    Such procedure is improper. Victim's impact statements should be addressed to the judge, not to the defendant. In the first place, it is the judge who is going to be doing the sentencing, therefore, remarks designed to influence that sentence should be addressed directly to the judge. But, more importantly, to allow an injured family member to simply get up and personally villify the defendant accomplishes little more than a public flogging and serves only to degrade the judicial process.

    So congratulations on a well worded and well presented statement!
     
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    Last edited: May 7, 2010
  3. goldcatt
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    goldcatt Catch me if you can! Supporting Member

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    Excellent, Ollie. I can't imagine that was easy to write either. But don't change a thing, you got it just right.
     
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  4. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Speaking as probably the most 'layman' of this group, in case the jury is a factor here, it came across to me as sincere, honest, and direct. I would have seen you as speaking honestly and from the heart.
     
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  5. CurveLight
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    CurveLight BANNED

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    That was very good and I've offered editing suggestions:



    Your Honor,

    My name is ****** Oliver, and I have a short statement to read on behalf of our family who lost their father, grandfather, and friend.

    Our father raised 7 children, 3 of which were step children. It made no difference to him, we were all his kids. I don’t believe there was ever a time he treated any of us any different than any other. Nor could he have loved any of us any differently.

    Dad never stopped being selfless even when he was the one in need. He used to tell us how he never wanted to live with any of us. That it wouldn’t be right. We respected his choice and gave him a home where we all believed he would be safe.

    On 30 July of last year Dad learned he was not safe and by the time we learned, it was too late. A great injustice has been done and the person responsible should pay for that injustice.

    We are not lawyers, but common sense people, we grew up in simple times in a rough neighborhood. We do not know the law, but we know that our Father was taken from us years before he was ready to leave.

    We cannot express the words that can show how we miss him.


    Nothing can bring back his little jokes, His smiles, and his reassuring hand.

    We cannot bring him back.

    Our Father has been taken, but not his integrity or commitment to caring for people. We will honor his memory by doing what we are able to help prevent others from enduring this needless death and suffering.

    We are working with our State and Federal Representatives to review current laws regarding assisted living homes both locally and nationally in pursuit of doing everything possible to do what our father would do: live for tomorrow by removing the mistakes of yesterday.

    We thank your Honor and the Court for this opportunity to speak. We ask the maximum punishment be levied.

    Thank you.
     
  6. goldcatt
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    goldcatt Catch me if you can! Supporting Member

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    The jury isn't a factor in sentencing, sentencing happens only if (and after) the jury decides the defendant is guilty. And the sentencing phase is where victim statements are given. George knows more about the details than I do, I never practiced criminal law and only know the basics. ;)

    But Ollie's statement is perfect for addressing the judge. It's not about revenge, or politics, but about the loss of a father taken too soon - and describing as best as possible under the circumstances the impact of that loss and how those left behind would like to see the judge handle the person responsible in a brief, dignified statement. In other words, it's perfect.
     
  7. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Understood though I thought in most states, the jury does decide the sentence in capital cases. But maybe that is only when the death penalty is involved. Again, as you well know, I'm usually out of my league on these things, so I will bow to the greater wisdom. :)
     
  8. Againsheila
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    Againsheila Gold Member

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    It's good Ollie, leave it the way it is, good luck and God Bless.
     
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  9. goldcatt
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    goldcatt Catch me if you can! Supporting Member

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    In a capital case, yes. Usually they have to find whether there are what they call special circumstances to allow the death penalty to be applied, which is a determination of fact similar to deciding whether the defendant was guilty in the first phase. If they find there are no special circumstances, the judge cannot give the defendant a death sentence.

    But the judge always makes the determinations of law. So the judge will rule on objections and motions, and he's the one who will instruct the jury what to look for as far as the law is concerned, that sort of thing. The jury just decides how to weigh the evidence and whether they think it's enough to find the defendant is in fact guilty.

    This isn't a capital case, so there won't be any more facts to decide on after the verdict. Once the jury determines guilt or innocence they'll go home and the judge will apply both the law and his discretion when deciding on a sentence - and his discretion is where the victim statement comes in. Of course when he's faced with a range within the law of, just as a random example, anywhere from 5 - 15 years, he wants to have an idea of what the people most affected think. If you think about it from that point of view, it makes perfect sense.
     
  10. JakeStarkey
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    JakeStarkey Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    The others above are right, I feel. Ignore the accused. Acknowledge her presence in no way. This is about how the act impacted your family, and what you want the judge to do. I think your statement is perfect. It honors your dad.
     
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