high time

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ladyjustice

By the day the mistrial in the Jodi Arias sentencing phase was declared, I had been making the trek to downtown Phoenix nearly every day for months to sit in the courtroom in solidarity with the Alexander family.   Weeks of agony produced new bonds forged, new friendships blossoming, a breath of purpose in to my life, opportunities for growth and letting go.

When I’d been invited with the great honor and gift to sit with the family during this trial I immediately knew two things:  1. my greatest asset I could offer this family was my confidence in justice having walked this road myself twice and 2. I would make the most of that seat in every possible way I could imagine.  As the end of this arduous process is near, I feel confident in the accomplishment of both goals.  More on that down the road.

Managing a busy work schedule and attending a trial for months was both hard and amazingly easy.  It was almost as if some kind of divine choreography stepped in and even though there were many uncertainties, I seemed to find myself miraculously in the right place at the right time throughout the entire trial.  I was able to sit with the family when the GUILTY verdict was delivered against all my expectations of room for me in the courtroom.  I was close to the courthouse during closing arguments and hosted friends of theirs in a nearby hotel room to watch them together on the live stream.  It just seemed as if I was positioned exactly where I needed to be at all times even when it didn’t appear that way in every moment.

The devastating day of the mistrial proved no exception.  Although it didn’t appear that way at all.

During a verdict watch of any kind, obviously there is no ability to predict timing on anything.  The day the mistrial was declared I was scheduled to work for a few hours right in the middle of the day.  As some of us were involved in a project to bring lunch to the family as they waited, I wanted to be there personally to participate in it.  As timing would have it, I had exactly 45 min total to be at the courthouse that morning.  Yet I managed to arrive, though unplanned, at the exact moment the food delivery arrived. This allowed me in that small window of time to help deliver the sandwiches and more importantly make contact and hug every member of Travis’ family.

I rushed back to work with the extraordinary task of focusing on my clients and pushing to the back of my mind worry and wondering if a verdict was coming in.

At the end of my work day, still no verdict.  I had about 3 hours until I needed to be ready for a dinner date that evening so thought it wasn’t enough time to run back to the courthouse to probably just wait for nothing.  It’s been a continual juggling act like this, guessing/picking priorities.  Yet somehow everything has always seemed to work out.

I decided instead on a whim to go visit my brother.  We sat just talking about our day when suddenly a text message came in saying there was a “jury question”. That the family was assembling.  I texted with my friend right up to the moment she went in the courtroom and had to turn off her phone.  I felt extremely frustrated and sad I couldn’t be there for the family as this seemed to be something important going down.  There was no time to get there now.

So I sat with my brother in his living room as we watched this unfold.  VERDICT!  What?  No one said “Verdict”!  They said question!  I leapt to my feet, shaking,  as we heard the words together “no unanimous decision”.  I dissolved in gasps and tears in my brother’s living room as he stormed outside also crying to have a cigarette.  As he returned he put his hand over his eyes and said ” I feel exactly the same as I did when they let Rudi off death row”.  We hugged and cried together and talked about that horrible moment in our own lives.

That moment just 5 years ago when one of our sister’s killers, the one who slit her throat, was released from Death Row after 18 years on a bogus but costly mental retardation claim.  The injustice and abuse our family suffered during that appeal was enough to garner an “apology” directed at me in open court by his attorney but truly the most suffering in the legal system we ever endured.  Our criminal trial was nothing compared to those years of heinous treatment and unfairness.

And my brother and I have really never discussed it.  Not atypical for families to disappear in to denial to just survive these kinds of things.

I sat him down and explained to him that although it was horrible this happened, it actually ended up being the best for us in the long run.  The result of that decision caused our sister’s killers even more suffering as they had been in cells adjacent to each other on Death row all those years we’re told.  I would imagine with 23 hours per day in solitary confinement , having your brother to talk to, even through the vents, is a luxury.  Having him removed from Death Row also meant he was moved to another location in Arizona all together. They will never speak to each other or see each other again.  Unless one is allowed to invite the other to his execution.  We lost our sister, I reminded John, and now they lost each other.  Karma.

Secondly, the one removed from Death Row will achieve something we’ve wanted all along. For him to be forgotten. Death Row inmates do receive a sort of “celebrity” status and millions of tax payer dollars are spent on them attempting to further a political cause championing one heinous murderer at a time.  Rudi, now in general population of some kind,  has lost his brother and the death row champions who spent years fighting for him.  Poetic justice I say.

Sometimes there is a higher timing going on for things.  Sometimes there is an unseen plan that is unfolding.

On this day, although I felt I needed and wanted to be with the Alexanders when that horrible news came in, I was exactly where I needed to be.  Comforting and bonding with my brother.  And allowing the present to reach in to our past to provide some of our own healing and understanding.

And reminding myself, and now you, that sometimes punishment shows up in an unexpected but more “just” manner than we’ve attached ourself to.

And somehow, I think Travis Alexander would *get* exactly what I’m talking about here.

Lady Justice has not forsaken this family.  She’s just taking her own high time.

34 thoughts on “high time

  1. I am so happy to know that you and your brother were together at the time of the “non-verdict”, and able to talk about your own family loss. Your brother needed you then, and I suspect you needed him. This first blog is filled with very wise insights. Thank you for sharing such personal thoughts.

  2. Cyndi Wells Platfoot

    Kathy
    First of all I love the pix of you and Cindy. 2 innocents for sure. Back in a carefree time before death and life became so closely entwined. I’m so glad you have the blog now so that hopefully you can speaking openly in your OWN forum. You were definitely where you needed to be on No Verdict day and I’m glad that you and your brother had the chance to talk about the outcome of your sisters case. I’m positive TA and the family totally understand that it was the best thing for you and I’m sure they would want nothing less. Thanks for being you and showing us grace, love & giving of oneself. xoxo

  3. Tesstruhart

    Great Opening for you blog. I love the picture also. You girls were little cutie patooties. That’s what I call my youngest granddaughter. Special little name.

  4. This is certainly beautiful. Kleenex needed. You are really wonderful for the Alexander family. I will read here often. Thank You for this nice place to come.

  5. Michael Thal

    Good job Kathy.

    This is pretty much just a ‘sample’ comment so you’ll know this feature is working.

    I remember when my son designed his website/blog about NFL football schedules he was anxious for people to leave comments, click the FB Like button, use both their mobile device and their laptop, etc.

    Michael Thal
    San Diego, CA
    Twitter: @SunDevil1972
    Websleuths: sdmike1974

  6. cathy

    Bless you for being there. Bless you for living through your Sister’s murder. Bless you for taking such good care of all around you. xoxoxo

  7. KF (not from WS but where I met you!)

    I never signed up at WS, but didn’t miss one day of your posts. Thank you doesn’t seem
    adequate for all that you have done….and inspired. I, too, feel if you lived near me, we would be
    best friends and share laughs and tough times, and be right there rolling up our sleeves to see
    how we can do something good! Bless you….and all those you love. Thank goodness we won’t
    lose you just because there is no trial going on. I truly believe you have many marks to leave on
    this world and your path will cross with someone equally as passionate about your cause. xxoo

  8. Linda Jaeger

    You are the Ambassador of Angels to me and I am sure to many. You are a true inspiration of pushing through the darkest of days and spreading the light of hope to so many. Thanks just isn’t enough for the promise you bring to others of healing, hope and better days to come.

  9. Lady Edith

    Thank you for sharing your experience with this verdict, and with your own. It takes wisdom, patience and some faith too, to be willing to see the sense or greater justice in something that does not immediately look like our idea of justice. I look forward to your future posts!

  10. Hey, KCL, I’ve bookmarked your blog and plan on visiting it often. I’ve really enjoyed your words of wisdom on other social media sites and look forward to your continuing commentary on trials and the rights of victims.

  11. Christine aka knicksgal1

    So glad to see you with your own spot, KCL. What a blessing you have been to the Alexanders! I am so glad that you were with your brother for Thursday. He needed you and you needed him. Hugs!

  12. Sandi aka makayla

    A perfect title for your heartfelt blog! The beautiful photograph is haunting, two little girls never imagining where their lives would take them. Bless you for all you do, for your strength, and for just being you!

  13. 38special

    I’m honored to be able to finally say thank you for the honest and encouraging comments that I’ve often swooped in stealth mode to read at WS from you. Getting a real life perspective to what a victim’s surviving loved ones have to deal with is sad, inspiring and heartbreaking all at once.
    I think of you and your dedication to your sister’s memory & life as a lesson to me personally to cherish my loved ones because tragedy can happen unexpectedly.
    I’ve wanted to thank you for a long time but I knew I’d only last about 2 days before I’d have gotten a permanent “vacation” at WS!

  14. KSA

    KCL, I’ve been mulling this for days, and the more I read from you the more my feeling is being cemented.

    Justice is not being denied. Escape routes are being sealed, instead. Let me try to explain:

    As things stood the day this jury hung, and the days prior, JA was feeling confident that she had an escape route…..and she did have a potential one available, in the form of an appeal because they had successfully conjured an excuse not to put on any mitigation. Feeling flush with that confidence, and assured that she’d have a second shot at freedom when those “oh so much better than this ridiculous trial court” (in JA’s mind) appellate judges saw this, she trotted out in front of the cameras and did what she loves to do best, and started once again flapping her gums, certain it could not be used against her at this point.

    Then the non-verdict verdict returned, and right there before her that escape route, that door to potential freedom slammed closed with a finality that echoed from that courtroom all the way to my location across the US and beyond.

    One of a few things would now happen: either the State would offer a plea to LWOP on the condition that she give up any appeal, or a second jury would be seated and she would *have to* put on a mitigation – no excuse not to, now that the option for sealed testimony for witnesses has been proffered – and all that barely veiled venom that she had spewed at the Alexanders, the jury, the court, her own defense team, etc would now be turned against her as she once again has to face the almost certainty of the death penalty…..without that handy excuse for appeal.

    She’s never going to walk free. She’s not getting a new trial based on a technicality. She’ll grow old and die alone in a cell in payment for what she did to Travis Alexander, whether her life is taken by the state or natural causes.

    God (or whatever power you feel, whoever you may be) hasn’t abandoned the Alexanders – He is just taking care of the situation with a wisdom that is difficult for us mere mortals to foresee. He’s still walking by their sides, and has not faltered. He had plans for Travis Alexander to touch the world in a major way, and at each turn that JA has tried to thwart those plans, he has said “oh no, you don’t.” First there were the pictures, then the conviction, now the hung jury.

    I firmly believe it. And I hope the Alexander’s can see it and find comfort in it. He has not abandoned them. Not at all. May they find peace and comfort in that during this agonizing journey.

  15. So happy that you’re sharing your unique and needed perspective with the larger world. You have an amazing ability to look beyond the surface and recognize “gifts” we may not perceive as such.

    You have used your tragedy to help the Alexanders. Now you have used that tragedy to help your brother and give him some of the peace that may have eluded him.

    Your own story is so long and painful and yet, what has that given you? Your active empathy that couldn’t possibly be duplicated. You, yourself have become a gift to those suffering as you did. And, to the rest of us, you give us direction and knowledge of how to treat & help those affected and how to process and understand the long road to justice. And to remember that justice may not always look exactly like we wanted it to.

    In the wake of recent events my inner KCL has let me see that this jury had done its part and this needed to be over for now. The greatest part is done. Murder 1, aggravating circumstances. One way or another the murderer’s life is over. That has to give so much comfort. And given some things this Foreman said I am utterly breathing an enormous sigh of relief that we got that. And, what an additional gift that he thought their Penalty non-verdict meant he “saved” Jodi when all it did is remove him from the equation and allow a fresh group of AZ citizens the opportunity to give her the DP. And, if they don’t I am not worried that the Judge would give less than LWOP. Now everyone gets a break and gets to go back to their life and family and summer plans. Everyone that is, but Jodi. Jodi’s life has already been taken. One way or another.

  16. Michele

    Thanks for sharing — amazing how faith gets you through in the worst of times — grace reminds you it’s all good. (mka from ws)

  17. Outofstatelawyer

    Brava! Brava KCL! I think you are a gift from the Universe for the Alexanders. Your new blog is wonderful; I will bookmark it. One thing: this font against this background is a little hard for old ladies like me to read.

  18. Propellerhead

    When I read this post, I felt something deep inside start to unfurl. It is hope. I didn’t recognized it at first, but I knew what it was by the end of your blog.
    Sometimes when we are so focused on what we want (the goal) that we forget the many things we learn in the journey. As Lady Justice is taking her “high time” to get to the end destination, I am believing that in addition to the right destination, that many good things will come through this journey.
    You are making a difference. (I hope I can, too.)
    (Heart) and (hugs).

  19. Rina Popstar

    Thank you for allowing us access to your innermost thoughts. Your story is one that needs to be told, it is powerful and will change the lives of those who hear it.
    Wishing you all the best,
    Discogirl (WS)

  20. Thank you for all the wonderful comments here…I’m truly overwhelmed reading all of your own sharing and insights. I hope we find a little community here on this blog for sharing our unique challenges and inspirations on these topics I write about and beyond. Lots of love to you ALL! xoxo

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