In fact, it was only by the grace of God that did I refrain from standing and telling her what I really think of her remarks.
I still get angry at the realization that they have usurped my experience - my tragedy, to satisfy a personal or political agenda. Rather than listening to the "victim" and making an evaluation based on actual evidence, the judge relied upon the more "creative" version of the story.
At this time last week, I was doing the re-writes on my impact statement. Surely, the judge would see that my words are my own, not coerced, controlled or influenced in any way except by my desire for the truth to be heard, known, and believed.
I remember my anxiety and blood pressure rising at the thought of giving my statement. Confirming the turtleneck shirt is a definite necessity today. I received a text, asking how I was doing. Sharing that I was having trouble deciding what to include and omit, she advised, "Ask the Holy Spirit to help you." I had been doing that for the past month but still found myself struggling even at this late hour. Even so, her words and the knowledge of all the prayers on our behalf brought me encouragement and comfort.
I listened to the prosecution dramatically tell his version of my story; anger replaced my anxiety and apprehension. "Oh no, you don't get to do that!" I thought to myself. The concerns about the re-writes and my speech-giving abilities evaporated. God used my anger as a motivator for me. - Oh boy, did God motivate me after listening to the prosecutor's tale of fiction!
No longer did I feel anxious. Instead, I felt challenged. - Challenged to expose the lies. I felt challenged to renounce their assumptions and make it known that I am not some mindless follower deceived by my own wishful thinking. One must wonder. How is it possible for me to successfully make my case to everyone else who chooses to truly listen and who wants to know the truth, - but not to the ones who have gone all in on their agenda?
Justice may be elusive for the time being. The illogical judgment may bring a sense of victory in the office that continues to pursue their own agenda. It will not go unchallenged. The shady practices will not be kept hidden. The state and the judge who imposed the sentence disregarded the statute stating the overriding purposes of felony sentencing. Sanctions are to be imposed using the minimum sentence to achieve the goal of punishment and/or rehabilitation with the least burden to the state. To do so would bring into question all the tactics and legal maneuvers that led to the first ridiculous coerced plea agreement.
"Bleeding-heart liberal,"and my name could never be used in the same sentence. Now, however, I question every criminal report and every imposed sentence I hear that gets my attention. How it disappointing to have my naive vision of a fair and impartial justice system crushed.
The appeals process will begin. Hopefully, the appellate courts will view the tactics of the judicial system in my county as egregious as I and those who are experiencing it with me have. I pray my faith in this system can be restored. Perhaps, that is why we must endure this injustice and separation longer than the law requires.
Tomorrow, I will list all the laws that were abused by those who are supposed to uphold it - from the beginning - or at least all the ones I can remember. The list is a long one.
What a shame that we can't find today, more of the integrity and unconventional as that of Solomon.
1 Kings 3:16-28