I was invited to provide a victim statement for the criminal case against the man who killed Kim. I was asked three questions. Here is my reply to the second. I, of course, wrote this under the stress of the moment. I am posting these thoughts but not inviting comment. I found each question more difficult to answer than the last.
Item 4 from the letter and Item 3 from the form on the website ask for my recommendation as to an appropriate sanction for the defendant.
I understand that no amount of punishment can bring my wife back and my thoughts on appropriate sanction are not vengeful in any way.
I also understand that the life of an independent trucker is a difficult one and that they are often encouraged to work with too little rest or when they aren’t feeling their best because it is so difficult to make a living.
On the other hand, the sanctions for killing my wife must be such that it is not something that someone can shrug off when considering driving while not at your best. It must be significant that when a driver’s attention flags, he or she pulls over and doesn’t think, “what’s the big deal.”
You read about corporations that take into account acceptable levels of death, suffering, and lawsuits in their calculations of whether or not to spend the time and money to address issues they know are harmful to the public.
The sanctions must be such that future truck drivers understand the risk to others and to themselves.
On the one hand, no sentence will be enough. On the other hand, there are sentences which will be too little given what he has taken from me, our daughter, her parents, my parents, her siblings, my siblings, her cousins, her friends, her co-workers, and her neighbors.
I’m sure you hear this a lot from victims families – but Kim was really special. She did so much for so many.
I don’t envy the task before the judge of sentencing the defendant appropriately to serve as a deterrence while addressing the actual loss.