By Marc Klaas
The defense rested without calling any witnesses today. This twenty-eight month travesty of justice has cost millions of dollars in public money and held my family as emotional hostages. Barry Collins and Lorena Chandler should be held accountable for the enormous waste of time, energy and money on the defense of an admitted baby killer.
Countless parents of murdered children have told me that nothing can prepare you for the trial of your child's killer. In fact, many of them have accompanied my family into court at various times during the trial. We thought that we could withstand the constant assault on our sensibilities and that somehow we would be able to rise above the fray Instead, we are dragged into the world of murder, mayhem, rape and depravity. There is no way out.
Nothing can prepare you for the trauma of a murder trial. We watched the Goldman family walk out of court every day during the Simpson trial, face the cameras and react to the revelations of the day with anger and disbelief. As a family we thought we could do better than that. We thought that we could leave the courtroom and discuss issues, but, we were wrong.
Each morning we enter the abyss and brace ourselves as ever more disgusting revelations are presented as motive, discussed in side bar and placed into evidence. All the while, the killer sits at his table bantering with his attorneys, writing notes, reading files, and exercising his constitutional rights. He has a right to counsel, due process and a jury of his peers. Polly has a right to be referred to as the victim. The killer has a right to be informed of accusations, a right to confront and subpoena witnesses. Polly has a right to be referred to as the victim. The killer is prohibited from self-incrimination, double jeopardy and cruel and unusual punishment. Polly is dead, and the dead have no rights.
Forty-three million people become victims of crime every year in the United States. Statistics show that eighty percent of us will become victims of violent crime at least once in our lifetime. A child is murdered in the United States every ninety-two minutes. A violent crime is committed every sixteen seconds. A residential burglary is committed every nine seconds. The United States Constitution guarantees more than a dozen rights to those accused of committing crimes. Not one word is written in the U.S. Constitution on behalf of crime victims.
The odds are heavily stacked in favor of the accused. Polly's killer wants one thing: To be sent to prison for the rest of his life. If he gets his wish, the crime will never end. By his own admission, he will "Masturbate twice daily and think of tying up female victims of past crimes." Polly will be continually victimized until the day the killer dies. This is not fair. She deserves peace. We deserve peace. Therefore we must attend every phase of this travesty of justice. It is our duty to keep the focus of the trial on the target. The last few hours in the life of Polly Klaas.
KlaasKids Foundation P.O. Box 925, Sausalito, CA 94966
Copyright © 2002 KlaasKids Foundation For Children. All rights reserved.