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Posts Tagged ‘domestic violence’

Penelope Trunk is one of my favorite bloggers. I read her blog religiously. She writes career advice for the young generation in the new workplace. Shes a PR genius, and holds nothing back about herself. She’s smart, honest, and totally addicting.

Recently, she tweeted a comment that caused an uproar in the media world, as well as severe backlash among readers, which made headlines on such powerhouse news networks as CNN, ABC and AOL. This was her tweet:

“I’m in a board meeting. Having a miscarriage. Thank goodness, because there’s a fucked-up 3-week hoop-jump to have an abortion in Wisconsin.”

In response to the uproar, she posted this blog to defend her tweet on this topic, to which she says “That it is such a common occurrence and no one thinks it’s okay to talk about is terrible for women.” This blog post has received 701 comments (so far) in response. Some are outraged responses at her casual mention of having a miscarriage at work- which they consider to be inappropriate and TMI, some are furious about her flippant attitude about seeking an abortion, and others defend her courage to talk about real things women are going through that no one else talks about.

I’m not here to talk about her blog post, but this got me thinking. There are a handful of emotional, highly controversial social issues that are really important to me, personally. They’re all way more common than most people want to believe, but they aren’t being talked about. From miscarriages, to abortions, to domestic violence, to childhood sexual abuse.. it’s unnerving to realize that all of these are heavily women’s issues. This is not to say, by the way, that I am ignorant enough to believe that only women are victims of domestic violence or sexual abuse- but largly, the majority of those affected here are women.

Statistics back this up, although these issues in particular are difficult to get firm numbers for, because a majority of cases are never reported. Especially when it comes to domestic violence or childhood sexual abuse. Because.. no one talks about them.

In Forward, 1993 it was estimated that there were 60 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in America at the time. And that was 16 years ago. The majority of childhood sexual abuse victims are under age 12.

In 2003, the National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control said that an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assult by an intimate partner each year. A 2006 poll by the Allstate Foundation states that nearly three out of four (74%) of Americans personally know someone who is, or has been a victim of domestic violence.

From 1967 to September 2008, there were approximately 50,200,000 abortions performed in the United States. The Alan Guttmacher Institutes reported in 2008 that roughly one third of women will have an abortion during their reproductive lifetime.

We are talking about millions of women who have shared experiences with these topics – so why aren’t more women talking about them??

Because of the social stigma, of course. That keeps those involved under a shadow of shame and guilt. Sharing human experiences should be empowering, but this stigma instead creates a feeling of being publicly victimized. Why the stigma? How did we get to a place where such hugely common topics are so clouded with ignorance? How does this evolve?

BECAUSE NO ONE HAS BEEN TALKING ABOUT THEM!

I applaud Penelope for opening up the conversation. We need to start talking. I’m going to tell you why. We have a responsibility. To ourselves, to other women, to our children, to our future generations to have a real platform for, and give a real voice to conversations. To sharing these experiences.

I’ve had a miscarriage as an adult. It happened the day after I found out I was actually pregnant. It was really early, just six weeks. Had I not gone to the doctor because I thought I was getting sick, I wouldn’t even have really known I was pregnant when it happened. I went to the doctor again, and confirmed what I already knew. Having spoke to friends about it after, I know there are other women who have had early term miscarriages and didn’t even realize it. I won’t go into detail about how you can know the difference, but there are ways (and if you are a woman, you know should about them!). My point is, those friends wouldn’t have known, and probably wouldn’t have seen a doctor to make sure they weren’t at risk for an infection- had we not spoke about my experience with it.

I’m also a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. It was a distant family member, but I never told anyone in my family about it. Until last year. Last year, the family found out that two of my older cousins (who are brother and sister) were also sexually abused by this same family member, when they were children. They just told their parents. When I heard, I spoke to my cousin about it. And then later, my Aunt. I wasn’t ready to tell my parents at the time, it was an extremely difficult and emotional time for my family. Which we will get to. But last month, I told my parents too, and I am relieved. And now, maybe, in the near future when emotions are settled (that’s a whole other blog post) we can have those honest conversations with the whole family.

As far as my cousins go, I understand why they never said anything to their family, after all- I had never said anything to mine either. It’s the stigma. The shame and the guilt that you feel even though you know you shouldn’t feel it. The victimization of it. My cousins’ experiences were a lot worse than mine. I empathize with them in a way that I never would have if we didn’t share this kind of experience. I understand them in a totally different way. And now we’re talking about it. I was fortunate, when I was younger, I had friends I spoke about it with. I also had friends with stories of their own, like mine. It took them years to tell their parents too. This happens to millions of children.

What if when, my cousins were little, there was no “that doesn’t get talked about” attitude? What if there were free and open conversation about this among families and friends. Why aren’t children given the opportunity to discuss it more? If they had, my cousin would have been long gone before he got to me. I don’t fault them, I would never, because I understand them. But, I want better than that for my children, and for all future generations.

We need to start talking.

Domestic Violence claimed the life of my sister, Angela last year. Angela had been a victim of her husband’s abuse for quite some time. But she would never admit to it. Even with a face full of bruises, she would claim she fell on the ice. There is the stigma of guilt and shame attached to women involved in domestic violence as well. So they don’t talk about it. I tried to get my sister to talk to me, but I did it in all the wrong ways, and she never would. I had recently moved out of town, and though I heard talk about it, I had no idea how serious the situation had been.

During the trial I heard stories of how bad it had been between them at various times throughout their relationship. A neighbor had seen him fling my sister into the street onto the ground while she was several months pregnant. He threatened her and made her call family members in the middle of the night asking to borrow money, because he needed to buy drugs. He hit her in front of other people, then acted like it didn’t happen. He choked her and threatened to kill her in public. He dragged her by the throat through their house while their newborn was in the apartment. There were lots of things.

No one ever talked about it though. The defense asked the witnesses why they didn’t call the police during those instances, and most of them testified that they just didn’t, they didn’t feel it was their business. Some that Angela had asked them not to, as that would only make it worse. So it didn’t get talked about.

You always feel like there was so much more you could have done, if you’d known. But we should know. We should have been talking about it, really talking about. Her friends should have been talking about it, we should have been able to make her feel like she could talk about it, with all of us. If we had all been that way from the start- things could have been different.

The social stigma, the “forbidden topics” have to end. Yes, people will disagree, yes they are emotional and controversial topics, but we need to get over it. And we need to learn how to deal with it effectively.

We aren’t talking. We need to start talking. And we need to start listening too. We need open, honest conversation. We need to try to create an atmosphere of support and non judgment. That acceptance comes from understanding, and THAT comes from conversation and shared experience.

So People, Ladies, Everyone. Please. Start talking.

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my sister, Angela DeLyser Morgan was murdered one year ago today. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around that concept, but it seems impossible that an entire year has passed. twelve months, four seasons, a full set of Holidays and birthdays and regular days filled with the triumphs and heartaches of joys of the every day. yet I feel as though everything that has happened since last spring is hazy, but the pain and surreal horror of what happened is as fresh as it was only days old. my sister has missed an entire year of her young son’s life. a year of hugs and catching up at family functions, a summer of sunny days spent outside, a fall of apple picking and a wintertime of baking and Christmas caroling, which she loved.

sometimes its hard for me to really imprint on myself that my sister is gone, and not just out of touch. I have to remind myself that she was murdered. her life was taken suddenly and violently by a man that had no respect for her life or the life of their son. I have to remind myself that what happened to her happens far too often to far too many people who just don’t believe that their situation is “that bad”. Who don’t believe that something like this can actually happen to them, to their friends, to their family.

when I first heard about the abuse I shook it off. I thought; people fight, sometimes they lose their tempers.She didn’t want to leave him, so I let myself believe that it couldn’t be that bad. I myself have been in relationships where the arguing has escalated into fighting that would leave bruises on my arms and legs for days or weeks at a time. I saw how it could happen. I condemned her husband for it in my head, a weak man that has to exert his power and control by physically dominating someone smaller and weaker than himself. It’s pathetic. After time, I tried talking to her about it as well, but she would deny it and defend him and I considered her pathetic for that as well.

the one thing I can assure anyone who knows anyone in this kind of situation is that if something were to happen to them, you probably can’t imagine how guilty you will feel. I have trouble expressing the amount of guilt I feel, on so many fronts, about what happened to my sister. I feel guilt about the contempt I showed her when I found out, instead of the compassion and support she needed. I feel guilty about not paying enough attention to what was happening to know how serious it was. I feel guilty for not being someone she felt she could trust with this. Mostly I feel guilty for not knowing enough about how to help her when it could have mattered.

so in memory of my sister, I have put together some information on Domestic Violence I think everyone should know. I urge anyone in an abusive relationship, and anyone who knows anyone who may be in an abusive relationship to get educated and get help. because it really can save lives. Domestic Violence is EVERYONE’S business.

If you are in an Abusive Relationship:

If you’re being abused, document the abuse. If you’ve been hurt, take pictures. If others have witnessed the abuse, ask them to write it down what they saw or heard. If you are being assaulted or your partner is breaking the law– call the police.

Identify safe areas of your house. Know where to go if your abuser attacks. Avoid small enclosed spaces with no exits, like bathrooms, or rooms with easily accessible weapons, like the kitchen.

Have a code word. Come up with a word, phrase or some kind of other signal that you can use with friends, neighbors or co-workers if you are in danger and in need of the police.

Make a list of emergency contacts and memorize them. Identify several trusted friends, family members or coworkers who you could contact if you need a ride, a place to stay, or someone to contact help for you. Memorize the number of a domestic violence hotline, and a local shelter.

Make an escape plan. Keep some cash stashed somewhere safe. If you need to leave in a hurry, have a small amount of cash on you for cab fare, public phones or other needs. Keep a spare car key hidden someplace you can get to it quickly. It is also a good idea to have an escape kit stashed at a friend’s house consisting of cash, clothing, and any important documents.


Know your rights
. Familiarize yourself with the laws set forth for Domestic Violence in your state:

Domestic Violence Arrest Policies by State

Information on Civil Protection Orders by State

Standards of Proof for Domestic Violence Civil Protection Orders

If you know someone in an abusive relationship:

Listen – Victims of domestic violence have trouble talking about what their experiencing for fear of being judged, rejected, or betrayed.

Believe – Domestic violence occurs within every social strata, is never acceptable and it is serious. don’t downplay the situation.

Assure them they are not to blame – Many victims of domestic violence are made to believe that they are to blame for their abusers actions. Tell them they do not deserve to be beaten, nor did they cause the violence.

Support without dominating – Encourage them to see that they still have choices and support them in the choices they make. don’t tell them what to do, don’t yell at them for doing what you consider the wrong thing. Let them know what you think, but let them know you want to help.

Be there – Supporting a victim of domestic violence can be demanding, but victims need to know that you will not desert them, further making them feel as though they are alone and helpless.


Get Help
:

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Hotline advocates are available for victims and anyone calling on their behalf to provide crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to agencies in all 50 states. ndvh@ndvh.org

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: Serves as a national information and referral center for the general public, media, battered women and their children, allied and member agencies and organizations

WomensLaw.org – Provides thorough, easy-to-understand legal information and resources to women living with or escaping domestic violence or sexual assault.


What you can do
:

Donate a Phone:

Call To Protect – The national CALL TO PROTECT program enables people to retire their wireless phones in a manner that will help the environment and raise funds for national organizations working to end partner violence.

Donate:

Buy Awareness products

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Other Posts about My Sister:

Dear Ange

My Victim Impact Statement

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the sentencing hearing of my sister’s husband is less than two weeks away. convicted of second degree murder, his exact sentence will be given February 20th 2009, just under a year after my sister’s murder. before sentencing, family members of the victim are allowed to submit what are called Victim Impact Statements to the Judge, which he is allowed to consider when determining an appropriate sentence.

almost everyone in my family wrote one. we submitted eleven Victim Impact Statements to the District Attorney’s Office. this, i am told, is quite a lot. i read all of the victim impact statements my family members submitted this weekend, and i am revisited by an aching sorrow for the pain felt by so many.

my six year old cousin insisted on writing her own statement. she dictated it to her mother and instructed her to send it just as she had spoken it. i am in awe of this child. here is her statement – written exactly as she instructed:

Angela’s husband should be in jail for 10,000 months because we are sorry that Angela died. He could have hurt the baby. What he did was wrong. What he did was bad; he should be in jail for a super long time! Angela was my cousin and you should respect that. I miss her a lot and you should respect that because you [judge] love others too. -Sophia

my own impact statement was much harder to write, which i was surprised at. much of what i have been writing about has stemmed from what happened to my sister, so i thought the words would come easily for me. they did not. i’m not satisfied with the statement as a whole at all, but the mere fact that i was able to get it written felt like an accomplishment.

here is my Victim Impact Statement. The State of NY vs. Arthur Morgan Jr.

Dear Judge Nichols,

My name is Amanda DeLyser, Angela Marie Morgan was my older sister.

The last time I spoke with my sister was just over one year ago. She was living with our grandmother in Chatham at the time while her husband was in Columbia County Jail, serving several months for violating an order of protection against him on Angela’s behalf. During these several months, Angela and I spoke often. It was the closest that she and I had been since we were much younger. She was happier and healthier than we had seen her in quite some time. She was enthusiastic and warm, she was active in church and she had hopes for her future.

The very last time we spoke was February 6th 2008. The day before her husband Arthur Morgan Jr. was to be released. My sister and I argued that day. I yelled at her for the decisions she was making. She was planning on renting a trailer in Claverack for them to live in together. She told me that they were a family, that there were problems but they were going to work on them together. She was attempting to assure me that we would still hear from her after she left. I mocked her- insulted her for thinking that Artie would ever change. I was angry with her. That would be the last conversation that she and I ever had. I will be haunted by that conversation for the rest of my life.

It was just two months later that we found out that Angela was dead. The week prior to that day we had been worried that something might have happened to her. Arthur’s mother- Janet Morgan left a voicemail for my parents telling them that Angela had left Artie and hadn’t taken any of her things, and claimed that Angela said that the next time she left “no one was ever going to find her”. This was not like my sister. If she had finally decided to leave Arthur we would have heard from her. She would have come home. Angela had a family court date that week. She had been talking about that court date for months. When she did not make it to the hearing we knew something was very wrong. My parents filed a missing persons report that afternoon, and they found Angela the next day. In a blanket, left underneath that trailer in Claverack like garbage.

All Angela ever wanted to be was a wife and a mother- to have a family of her own. She thought she had found that with Art. My sister loved that man. She would do anything to make him happy, to keep their family together. Arthur Morgan promised to love my sister. He promised to honor her, cherish her and keep her safe yet he did none of these things. He used her, controlled her and abused her repeatedly. He was a pathetic excuse for a husband, a father and a man in general. He never provided for his family by holding down a full time job. He isoltated Angela from her family, her friends. I now know that this is not the first time he had beaten a woman he claimed to love. Before Angela he had a girlfriend who had to use a Domestic Violence Shelter in order to get away from him.

Angela’s murder was a devastating loss for my entire family. Arthur Morgan didn’t just take my only sister from me. He took my parent’s first born daughter and my two year old nephew’s mother. He took a granddaughter, a niece, a cousin and a friend to many. One of the hardest things for me, is knowing the pain and fear that Angela must have suffered at the time of her murder, the horror and betrayal she must have felt when she realized that someone she loved more than anything was actually killing her. The helplessness she must have felt knowing she was going to die. Angela did not deserve to be so cruelly taken. She was a good person with a big heart who was impressionable and taken advantage of. She wasn’t a crack addict, as Arthur claims. She didn’t use crack cocaine before she met him and she didn’t use it those several months last year while he was in jail. She was a gentle person who loved music and children and her friends.

You never think that violence like this can exist in someone that you know. Someone you’ve spent Holidays with, someone you’ve called family. This has taught me a lesson I’m not sure I could ever have been prepared to learn. I am scared of the things I now know so many are capable of. I am scared to trust that those I love will not hurt me. I am saddened and angry about the loss of my innocent faith in people. Mostly I am angry. I am angry that I will never get to speak to my sister again, that I will never get to see her again. I am angry that the last image I will have of her is the beaten, blackened face Art left her with. I look at her son and often cry for what she always wanted and is now missing.

I honestly believe that if Arthur Morgan Jr is ever free to live in society again that there will be another woman, another victim, another family shattered. So I ask you to sentence him to the maximum penalty permitted by law. If Arthur asks you for mercy or leniency in his sentence I beg you to remember the lack of mercy he showed to Angela. I ask you to think about the lack of respect for human life that he showed when he beat his wife repeatedly in the face, dragged and left her dead body underneath their trailer and moved out- fully intending to continue on with his life as though nothing had happened. I ask you to look at all of the domestic violence related incidents that police were called to their residences for. I ask you to remember the face of this man as he sat here during trail. Apathy, no emotion or respect for anyone besides himself. Arthur has no remorse for the pain he has caused. To this day he denies ever having hit my sister at all, which is so undeniably false that it’s almost laughable. But nothing about what happened to my sister is laughable. I ask you to give Arthur Morgan Jr a sentence as close to the one that he gave to my sister as possible. He decided she deserved to die for what he believed were crimes committed against him. I only wish you could be as harsh with your sentence, as it makes me sick to my stomach to think that I will be helping to pay to give Arthur a better life than he ever bothered to give himself or my sister.

Thank you, Amanda DeLyser

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The Honorable Jonathan D. Nichols
Columbia County Court Hudson, NY

Dear Judge Nichols:

My name is Susan DeLyser Woodruff. I am the aunt of Angela DeLyser Morgan and I wish to address the court regarding the sentencing of Arthur Morgan, Jr. on February 20, 2009. I will not be able to appear in court, but give permission for my statement to be read aloud if you so desire.

You will no doubt hear from many of Angela’s family and friends about what a loving and kind young woman she was, about her devotion to her family, particularly her son, about her fierce loyalty to those she cared for, and about what a terrible hole now exists in their hearts because of her death. I share those feelings, but I have a particular burden for my brother, my sister-in-law and my niece that I want to share because we have a unique bond that goes beyond family ties. You see, I too have buried a child. I know what they have endured these last 10 months and what they will continue to face in the months and years to come.

I know that David and Lorrie and Amanda have spent many sleepless nights being tormented by questions. Did Angela know what was happening to her? Did she suffer? Did she cry out for our help as she fought for her life? Was it my fault? Could I have done something to prevent it? One minute there is an agonizing need to have answers to those questions; the next minute the painful acknowledgement that the answers are too horrible to think about.

I know that not an hour of a day goes by that they don’t think about Angela. I know that everything reminds them of her. Yet there are times when they are consumed with the fear that one day they’ll wake up and won’t be able to picture her face or remember the sound of her voice. I also know that there will come a day when they get ready to lie down for the night and realize that that they hadn’t thought of her at all that day. And that will bring a fresh wave of guilt and grief and pain.

I know that people are uncomfortable around those of us who have been through a tragedy. There will be many people in Chatham and throughout Columbia County who will turn around on the street or in the aisle at the grocery store to avoid having to speak with Angela’s family. There will be some who blame her family for allowing this terrible thing to happen to her. There will be others who expect them to be “over it” by now.

Ultimately, I know that my loved ones will come through this tragedy as better, stronger, more compassionate people. But the journey is very long and hard. My heart breaks for them because I have been there. Even after 13 years, there are moments of intense heartache and sorrow. I wish I could bear those moments for Lorrie, Dave and Mandy because I’m used to it now. They have such a long way to go. You are always in my prayers, dear ones!

I have purposely chosen not to address the subject of this hearing. One more thing I know is that one day he will stand in the court of the everlasting Judge and give an answer for his life. I pray that he comes to repentance before that day.

In the meantime, I am confident that Your Honor will make the best possible decision for my family’s sake. Thank you for hearing me.

Sincerely,

Susan D. Woodruff
(Paternal Aunt)

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VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT People v. Arthur Morgan Jr.

On April 9th, 2008 at around 5pm, two Sheriff’s Dept. Officers knocked on our door. We were hoping that they had information regarding our daughter Angela’s disappearance, which we had reported the previous day. Instead our lives were devastated and will never be the same again. They came to inform us that a body had been found under our daughter’s home. Three hours later, we were at the morgue, trying to identify our first born’s brutally beaten body, which is any parent’s worst nightmare.

Our nightmare began in the spring of 2004. It was while we were planning Angela’s wedding that we first began to witness Arthur’s abusiveness and the control he exerted over our daughter. Angela was, at this time, in the second trimester of a high risk pregnancy. We were getting calls almost daily from Angela, upset and crying, because Arthur was demanding that everything be his way or there would be no wedding or that we would not be invited to their wedding. This behavior continued throughout their relationship and only got worse. We began receiving calls from concerned friends, and neighbors of Angela’s, documenting the verbal, physical and sexual abuse she was receiving. On June 26, 2004 Angela gave birth to a daughter, Alicia Marie, who was born 13 weeks prematurely. Sadly, she never left the hospital and died 10 months later. Looking back on it now, we believe our grand-daughter’s premature birth and death are a result of Arthur’s abuse. Arthur and Angela were married in July of 2004 and received a wedding gift of $3500 from Angela’s grandfather. We did not see or hear from them for 3 weeks, and they did not visit their daughter once during that time. When the money was gone, they resurfaced, calling for gas money or a ride to the hospital. This was NOT our daughter. She loved that little girl. If the decision had been hers, she would have lived at the hospital, if need be, to be with her daughter.

We had, at best, only sporadic contact with our daughter throughout her relationship with Arthur. The only people on Angela’s side of the family who had regular contact were her grandparents, and their visits were usually a request to borrow money. This, also, was NOT our daughter. All through their relationship, Arthur never showed the ability or desire to hold down a full time job and support a family. Instead he used Angela’s family as his own personal cash cow.

In Nov. of 2006, Angela gave birth to her son Brendan. This is when we began to see a dramatic worsening in their relationship. We would get phone calls in the middle of the night from Angela, hysterical and crying because they were fighting, but refusing our offers of assistance. We tried repeatedly to get her to pack up her son and come home, but she would refuse. Arthur had his hooks in too deep. She would beg us not to come and not to call the police. That would only make things worse. Usually we would get a call the next day, Angela saying everything is OK, until the one night we did call the police. Then we got a call telling us never to call again and to lose their phone number This, also, was NOT our daughter.

In March, we received a call from a concerned caseworker asking if we had seen our daughter recently. We had not actually seen her since Christmas day. It was highly suggested that we contact our daughter and visit with her. We tracked Angela down that afternoon at her mother-in-law’s house and went to see her. When she came to the door, we were absolutely shocked. Her face was so swollen and covered with bruises that we could barely recognize her. Although she insisted that her injuries were caused by a fall on the ice, we realized how bad her situation had become. We pleaded with her to leave Arthur and come home but to no avail. We told her we didn’t want to get a phone call someday, telling us that she was dead, and that she had a choice to make. Again, Arthur’s hooks were in too deep. Later in March, we learned that Brendan had been removed from the home by Child Protective Services and an Order of Protection had been issued against Arthur, which he repeatedly violated until he was incarcerated. Angela was determined to get her son back, and did everything that was required of her to do so. She never missed a class, a meeting, or a visitation. Arthur, on the other hand, rarely made one. We tried and tried to convince Angela that the best way to get her son back was to leave Arthur and we thought we were making progress. Then Angela received a 5 page letter Arthur had written in jail. In this letter, he apologized for all his misdeeds and the problems he had caused with our family. He promised that everything would be better, that he would get a job and they would get a home together and everything would be great. Our daughter believed him. His hooks were in too deep. Three months later, he was released. Two months after that, our daughter was dead, rolled in a blanket and stuffed under a trailer like garbage.

Arthur, you’re a worthless piece of human garbage, who only cares about himself. You didn’t care about your wife, you murdered her. You don’t care about your son, you murdered his mother. You didn’t care about your daughter, you beat and anally raped her mother while she was pregnant. All you care about is you, and getting money for your crack. Angela was not a drug addict. She never used crack before she met you and she didn’t use it while you were in jail. She had a more dangerous addiction. She was addicted to you and that was a fatal addiction.

Your Honor, you are charged with sentencing the person who beat our daughter to death. We have already been sentenced. Sentenced to life without our first born child. There is not a penalty you could impose that is harsh enough. 25 years to life is not enough. Life without parole is not enough. The death penalty is not enough. On every holiday, every birthday, every anniversary for the rest of our lives there will be a void, a black hole where our daughter should be. We will never again see her beautiful smile or hear her laugh. There is a precious little two year old boy who will never know his mother, and should never know his father. Arthur’s family will be able to see their son, talk to him, visit with him, send him cards and gifts on the holidays. On January 9th , they will be able to look at him and say ‘Happy Birthday’. All we will have are memories and a cemetery plot. On January 9th, we’ll be able to lay flowers on a grave, and say ‘Happy Birthday’ to a headstone. It infuriates us that hard-working taxpayers (of which Arthur was never one) will be paying to house, clothe and feed a remorseless murderer who doesn’t deserve to live. No sentence you can impose will bring our daughter back, but imposing the maximum sentence of 25 years to life might ensure that no other family will have to endure our nightmare, and we respectfully ask you to do that.

Sincerely,
Dave and Lorrie DeLyser

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