Weight - its all about the weight.
Some have asked us what it is like to go through this court process that lasts forever.
I think I have finally come up with an appropriate image. It's a little bit like being pregnant -- forever.
Each court date - starts with a tiny seed of anticipation. "We will meet again May 11 & May 12 for closing arguments." It was a germ idea....
Then the anticipation of the date seems to to grow into a living thing. No matter how much I try to ignore the due date - it seems to take on a life of its own. Each pregnancy my baby would grow... and grow... until in spite of every effort to retain normalcy, I was waddling at the end - carrying that extra weight.
I'm still not sure what grows in this trial process....is it anticipation? Is it dread? Is it anxiety? Is it the expectation?
Yet whatever it is - it grows.
And just like in a pregnancy - there is growing anxiety about the actual due date. When? (Sometimes the trial dates have been cancelled almost on the eve of the day.) Then the question - how long will we be in labor? (Sometimes an argument we thought would take ten minutes stretched into days and vise versa. This time what we thought might last a morning turned into two days.) Then the final question. Boy or girl? Pink or blue? (Is he guilty or not guilty?)
Each variable can have a huge impact on our lives! Just the simple question of pink or blue can mean a whole decorating scheme.
But in the end - - it really doesn't matter what gender the baby is -- as long as it is healthy!
That is how it felt yesterday emerging from the courtroom - relief that this bit of the process is over. We didn't really care about guilty or not guilty. Was the process health?
I think it was.
The first day - even though I was in a fog - I was still aware of my inner stream of consciousness. "Are you sure Mr. Simmonds? Is that the best way to portray the facts? Aren't you leaving something out? Aren't you adding something in? Are you now playing with the facts a bit too much? Ok that sounds about right! That sounds convincing.... But are you sure about that. Perhaps you have gone too far.... ?"
And then emerges the image and reference to the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. As always the eloquence the metaphors -- the words were fun and persuasive. “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?”
At the end I feel completely fragmented - and in a fog.
The next day, we listened to the Crown. For me it is the time in each trial when all the dots are connected in a fashion that makes sense....
Of course there is always the anxious question -- will they connect this time? Has all of this made any sense at all?
Even though some of the fog from the day before had lifted... it was still a bit hazy.
However I responded even in the haze..., "Yes - that rings true. Ok -- nicely put. Oh yes that fits...Great insight -- Logic! Truth. Perfect word. Yes. I must remember that - I must remember this.... Convincing."
The Crown began by laying out the parameters of the argument. This entire process is about finding the truth. The truth lies in the evidence -- and only in the evidence that has been ruled admissible. Once it is ruled admissible the evidence has to be weighted and survive intense scrutiny. It needs to be credible.
The mitochondrial DNA remains convincing and unchallenged. the YSTR DNA run that was used as evidence was unbiased and unchallenged.
Even the troublesome Nuclear DNA - though eventually discarded as too troublesome - was still convincing to me -- but the flaws in the lab do not survive the scrutiny.
In the end, the only person who had the means, the opportunity, the witness, and the DNA was in the room. Something sits right.
It feels like a blink.... Sometimes the great decision makers aren't those who process the most information or spend the most time deliberating, but those who have perfected the art of "thin-slicing"-filtering the very few factors that matter from an overwhelming number of variables.
Yet - some didn't agree. There was some courtroom theatrics that were new -- and very interesting - but I will leave that for another time.
When Crown was finished with the arguments, they all discussed the next day we will all appear in court - the verdict - the next germ seed that will grow.
I don't envy her as she leaves the room with her stack of binders. In the end, I am glad it is her decision to make. ... She has asked good questions - she had been thorough and deliberate.
We leave. It has been a long two days. I am feeling the exhaustion of a cold - the tiredness of trying to stifle the coughs, the sneezes and the running nose.
There is one more thing. The press has asked to speak to us
As we make our way to the front door, Cliff and I discuss what we are going to say. I'm in a haze -- I can't come up with anything. We shrug - we smile at each. "Let's go with whatever..."
And then a younger man -- actually middle-aged - approaches us and gives us a candy dish for chocolates with a heart attached. He is one of Candace's peers -- one of those who was haunted and impacted by her abduction and murder so many years ago. We don't have long to talk -- but just enough time to feel his warm wishes and his encouragement.
We are reminded that even though this story is being played out on our lives - and we are perhaps the public figure heads - this story is really about Candace -- and her peers that have have lived the story with us.
The journalists are there -- and we talk to them. Sometimes they feel more like a support-debrief group than media...so we debrief with them our confusion. This time I am convinced we haven't said anything usable.
And so the closing arguments are finished. It feels as if a great weight has been lifted as we walk to our car. Like a phantom pregnancy I suppose - because there is no baby yet - no real outcome.
But it doesn't matter all I want is for it to be healthy.
Actually all I want it to sleep the fog away....
Actually, all I want is to be healthy.....
Mad Matter: "Have I gone mad?"
Alice: "I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”
Tim Burton, Alice in Wonderland: based on the motion picture directed by Tim Burton