The other side of silence

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  • Published 20090901
  • ISBN: 9781921520761
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

IT’S TRUE I wanted him dead and would gladly have done it myself. I wonder about the days before fingerprinting, before CCTV, forensic analysis and Google Earth: how easy it would have been to do away with someone. It’s hard to believe to look at me, but it goes against nature when a child predeceases her parents and one might assume I was acting in an unnaturally emotive manner at the time. Revenge, I have since discovered, is merely the wish that no one else experience the life denied the person you have lost.

In the modern, friendly courtroom, where the sentence was handed down (a mere two years! on a prison farm!), it felt as if the entire world were a poorly constructed billycart that had lost a wheel, only to continue careening down the asphalt, chunking up sparks as it went. After sentencing, the judge, a chap called Roger Hilliard, a fellow I actually knew of through friends of friends, plumped his papers and swept from the courtroom, steadfastly refusing to meet my eye. Well might he have been ashamed at his part in a system that had so obviously failed to punish adequately the man who killed my daughter. The entire thing was a disgrace.

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