Wednesday, March 14, 2012

(In)justice for Tori Stafford

It's been almost three years since an eight-year-old girl, Tori Stafford, was kidnapped from in front of her school in Woodstock, a small town just 60 km east of here. The trial of Michael Rafferty, the man accused of taking, sexually assaulting and murdering her, is now taking place here in London because authorities feared he wouldn't be able to receive a fair trial in Woodstock.

His one-time girlfriend, Terri-Lynne McClintic has already pleaded guilty to murder and is serving a life sentence. She's the star witness for the prosecution, and her testimony, which began yesterday, has been nothing short of gut-wrenching, a first-person view into how monsters destroyed the life of a child and, by extension, her family and her community.

I'll leave it to you to decide whether or not to seek out additional coverage online. Suffice to say it is graphic and heart breaking. I keep wishing the world could be a little more fair, that monsters didn't live among us, that those who choose to take the lives of others could somehow - on this plane or another - meet something approaching justice.

I know many of the journalists who are sitting through the trial and trying to make sense of what can never make any sense. How they tell the story without becoming sick to their stomach is beyond me. How Tori's family goes on from here I will never know. There's just no way to put any of this into words. Maybe if more of us hugged our kids a little more often, they wouldn't grow up to be killers.



Kalei's Best Friend said...

Carmi, your sentiment about 'hugging our kids' makes it seem as if we don't, then we are responsible w/how they turn out? what happened to accountability? kids turn into adults. Granted we pass on our philosophy, teach them respect, etc. But in the end, they hold some part in whatever they do or how they come out,right? As far as the death penalty, I was a very strong believer in it... I remember asking my husband how his mother felt about it if someone she loved was killed by a crazed person.. He said she did not believe in it.. that a life sentence is enough suffering... My brother was a deputy and his life was cut short by someone whose own life was taken out by my brother's partner... Granted, the killer is dead- then again- so is my brother... Death penalty is a quick fix for the situation- but then again the victim is still gone and the pain for the living is still there.
Society is responsible for how situations are, as well as how people act in society... Bottom line, its not just the parents who are responsible- its EVERYONE...

CorvusCorax12 said...

i'm not following it closely, but did read some of the details...i can't even imagine. I use to have nightmares about somebody abducting my children and now that i have two beautiful little granddaughters i fear the same again. I can't even let my mind go there.
As much as i like to think i have a lot of compassion and don't look at things black and white i can never understand people that are capable of acts like this.

Melanie said...

I can't make myself read or watch anything about the trial... I fear it would never, ever leave my head, and I would then have more fears/worries/concerns about my son than are healthy.

My heart definitely breaks for the family. There really is no justice, even if he ends up in prison forever.

David Rothbauer said...

I am childless and although that is one of my few regrets in life I have to say that cases like this make me glad I am so.

I do not know how I could sleep knowing that things like this happen if I had a child out there in the world.

At the same time I wonder why so many things have been brought up at trial that seem completely irrelevant.

I discuss that on my blog, asking at what point does it really matter who did what in a crime.