"The Crown will hold a new trial for a Winnipeg man in the grisly killing of a teenaged girl more than 30 years ago, Manitoba’s prosecution service said Friday.... Mark Grant was convicted of the second-degree murder of Candace Derksen in 2011, but the Manitoba Court of Appeal overturned the conviction in 2013. The Supreme Court of Canada upheld that ruling earlier this month." Steve Lambert - Canadian Press - Global News
At first I had mixed feelings, thoughts and reactions to the possibility of a new trial.
I kept hearing all the voices of those around me and of their concern about the expense, the time, the uncertainty of ever getting a fair verdict, the introduction of new evidence, the wear and tear on the witnesses being forced to take the stand again, and what this would do to us as a family being forced to endure a rerun of an arduous process that was emotionally draining the first time. But by end of day, I had settled down. I am now of one mind again, I am relieved that we are doing it again.
Of course this isn't my first choice, I wish the Appeal processes would have been more thorough in their investigation of the transcript of the first trial, but that is now all passed. We are at the starting gate again, well at least the justice system is.
I think it is different for us this time.
First of all, I am wondering what I am missing. I have always thought/believed that if you don't learn your lessons the first time around, an issue will come around in a different form and present itself again and again until you get it right. This has held true in many other aspects in my life. I come across a situation, I can't handle it and it comes around again and again until I understand it, and then for whatever reason, it simply dissolves into thin air.
So this time around, I am keeping my eyes wide open. And I am encouraging everyone else to keep their eyes wide open. Let's learn. I don't want to do this forever. Thirty years of this is enough.
The questions we are being asked of friends and reporters are helping us think this through.
Will it be the same? I remember telling a family friend quite vehemently shortly after the Supreme Court of Canada hearing that if there was a retrial I would not attend. I rarely watch reruns. Life is short, I want to experience and explore new things. Well here I am eating my words again, because I think I will be attending. I also hate missing anything that is relevant and connected to me and my family. I am beginning to realize that this will not be a rerun of the first. It might seem that way, but things have changed. We have changed. I have changed - and we will be looking at all of this with new eyes, new understandings, and different expectations. We won't be sitting in the front seat though - hanging onto every word. This time it will be in the back....
Do we think they will ever arrive at a guilty verdict that will stick? I don't know. I've discovered that I can't predict what is going to happen in life - especially in the justice system. But I am optimistic, remembering that a jury of twelve responsible, intelligent members, did find him guilty the first time, and I see no reason for this to be otherwise.
Are we worried about the Box Car case and new evidence about DNA? No, read my book, This Mortal Coil and you will know why I am not worried. I think it is because we have arrived at our own truth - and unless that is challenged and we are convinced otherwise which would take some doing - we are confident we know what happened on November 30, 1984 and why.And that to us has always been the most important and continues to grow in importance as we realize the impact truth has been to our personal healing and survival as a family unit. So no matter the outcome, I will always be grateful for the first trial, and the satisfying ending it gave to us.
What do we anticipate? Will Candace be there? Last night as we visited with our wonderful Presbyterian friends, our host flipped the TV onto the late night news - something I avoid until two days later after any breaking news on this case, - and there was Candace's picture - beautiful, vibrant Candace, smiling at me. And even now as I am writing, the tears are flowing. I am feeling it all. I will always feel it all. But feelings are a gift they aren't a curse.
After I am finished with the tears, I will feel beautiful, comforted and alive. I will love more freely because my defenses are washed away.
The retrial will give me more opportunity to cry - and it won't be only for Candace - the tears will also be because my pain will remind me about all the hurting and woundedness of this world -- and that is always worth crying about - knowing tears release the love that heals.
“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”
― William W. Purkey