If someone asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ he will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’ Zech 13 v 6

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Getting Information

It was so hard to get information regarding our case, regarding Patrick's sentencing conditions, regarding Patrick's violations, regarding access to what should be public records. The phone calls for me were the hardest. Finding the time when all my children were quiet and able to manage things without me, mustering the emotions to deal with the conversation, creating a list of difficult questions only to be forced to leave a message. Then waiting for the return call from the prosecutor or the detective or the probation officer. Return calls, when they come at all, tend to come at the most inopportune times.

We would be told about a court date. We would plan for it. Eric would request time off work and I would arrange childcare. Then we would find out, the day before or the day of, that there was a postponement for one reason or another.

We could never know what the prosecutor's plans for the case were, because she didn't want to give away her plan in case we told the wrong person, giving Patrick's defense a chance to prepare. This also meant we had little say in how hard the courts went after Patrick.

I had to learn that the probation officer couldn't just give me information, because Patrick was her client. But if I asked the right questions, she could answer them, because I was the victims mother. It was like some kind of sick game of riddles.

I had to learn how to properly state the reasons why I wanted certain court records in order not to be denied. I would be denied a certain request only to re-apply with a different reason and then receive the documentation. I still haven't received all that I have requested, even though none of the documents have been officially sealed. There is so much red tape and the process to cut through it gets so tiresome.
I completely understand why people don't pursue information regarding their cases. The court system makes it so hard and seems structured in a way that helps no one but the lawyers.

When I seem to be at the end of what I think I can handle, I am usually motivated by someone or some action of Patrick's or the Rojas's to keep fighting this fight. I continue to keep reminding the prosecutor we are still out here and worried about Patrick victimizing another innocent child. I tell them that we want Eddie found so his minor daughters can be helped. I remind them not to give up on our behalf.

1 comment:

freddyeddy said...

We have become so concerned with "protecting the rights" of the accused/convicted perps that victims are often repeatedly victimized. I'm not saying I want to go all the way back to the wild wild west, but there was a time not that long ago, when a person like this would have beeen "dealt with" by family and or friends of the victim. If he survived his first educational opportunity, it would be very clear that a second offense in that town or community would be the last. Maybe a little movement back that direction would be good.