Saturday, December 4, 2010

What's New

It has been a long haul doing the Steven Hayes trial in New Haven Superior court. Tuesday was the beginning of the end at the agonizing sentencing hearing. We heard the family make “impact statements" telling how the murders had destroyed their lives, wondering if they would ever be able to lead a normal life again, as the beautiful beaming faces of the victims flashed across a screen. Baby pictures, vacation shots. Happiness. Gone. Tears streamed down the faces of men and women alike. Then Steven Hayes spoke. He stood, facing the judge as he read a statement he had supposedly written, bearded and scruffy, in an oversized bright orange prison jumpsuit, a mix of Elmer Fudd and Charles Manson. His voice had an unexpectedly goofy quality, maybe it was a minor lisp. Judge Jon C. Blue then pronounced the death sentence to Hayes in a dramatic and serious tone, ending with “ may god have mercy on your soul.”

Outside the courthouse the reporters waited for the family to come forward with a statement. There was none to come, but a written piece passed out to all. The other courtroom sketch artist came out, and knelt before the cameras, offering her sketch to all those who wanted it. Good lesson. The day had been so painful, listening to the family's wrenching descriptions of their loved ones, their deep loss and the way the loss will effect them always. I was heavily effected by the intensity of the statements, being the emotional sort. Then there was a rude awakening later that evening. The drama was not over for me.................

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