This is a full trial. It is expected to last a week or two. If you want to show up for any part of it you are welcome in the courtroom on any day. Please read the rest of this blog about that.
I know I’ve been short on posts about things that aren’t legal. I’ve been short on time and on sleep and on me. I’m working on that. Which is it’s own post that may or may not happen. This post is about next week.
Theoretically, the trial for the person who killed Jason starts on Monday. I say theoretically because my understanding of the legal system thus far leads me to believe that this things can be cancelled randomly and with no notice.
Firstly, it is looking likely that I will be allowed to watch the trial. Because I am a witness, I am not allowed to be in the room while other testimony is happening because it might effect my testimony. Because I remember almost nothing, there isn’t a lot of effect to have. And because I’m a victim, I’m allowed to bear witness. It’s complicated, but after some conversations, it is looking likely that I will be allowed to bear witness, after I testify.
The trial is open to the public, which means any of you can show up and watch. If you want to show up, here are some basic guidelines of what to expect and how to behave. (Honestly, I don’t think any of you need to read this, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it and I don’t want to have to apologize for something dumb. I’m going to have to apologize enough for my own mouth.)
- Like old-fashioned weddings, there is sort of a “defendant” and “prosecutor” side. I don’t know right now which side will be my side, but I’ll let you all look around and figure that out on your own.
- Don’t make noise during the trial. No outbursts of “Bullshit!” or comments on the character of the person on trial. No snorting or laughing or sobbing loudly. Be like little mice.
- On breaks, be mindful of who is around you. This one is actually relevant. The jurors and Haynes’ family will also be around. Don’t say anything which they could overhear or try to engage the jurors in conversation.
- No phones, recordings, etc.
- Don’t engage with Haynes’ people. Even if they start a conversation, politely disengage and walk away. If they pursue or get hostile, find a deputy and report it. Don’t engage.
Most of those are pretty common sense. But still, now I’ve written it up and we all know I did.
The other part of this is a content warning on the trial itself. There is 2 parts to this warning. First, Haynes has forced this to go to trial. She is convinced she did no wrong, or she wouldn’t have forced a trial. She is going to make that argument over and over. You (and I) may not want to hear that. Second, there will be images from the crime scene investigators of the cars. Some of them may include Jason. There will be a report from the medical examiner’s office, which will also include graphic images. There will be video of the crash. These are all part of the admissible evidence and part of building the case. But they are also images of Jason’s death. Before they are played, the lawyer and victim’s advocate will warn me and my family in case we want to leave the room. You can follow our lead in that, if those are not images you want to see or testimony you want to hear. Finally, I will be testifying. You may not want to hear that, either.
Now that I’ve said all that, if you’d like to show up, do. I’d like to have butts in seats. I would like for them to have silent watchers as they decide this case. I’d like for the jurors to share a heartbeat with people who love Jason, who love me. I’d like for them to know he was loved.
On the other hand, if you think that sounds like hell on earth, I’ll let you know what’s happening as I know and as I can talk about it. You don’t need to be physically present for me to know you are here for this.
Next week is going to suck. A lot. This is likely to continue into the following week as well. That will suck, too. No matter what the verdict, it will probably keep sucking for a while. If I seem like I’ve backslid in grief, I have. It’s ok. I’ve got people looking after me and I’m taking important steps to take care of myself. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself and know that I do appreciate your support. I just can’t show it very well right now.