The idea was to get Beth’s story in their heads, and when this issue crosses their desk, they’ll remember where it came from.
I’ve learned that most folks have no idea what this is all about. It’s easy to think a killer may or may not be rehabilitated if it has no impact on your immediate life. When I explain to them how an innocent life had been taken, they start to see, they imagine their own family, they picture their children and how they would feel.
I see it in their face, in their eyes, the look they give me tells all. When they imagine such a tragedy striking them, their eyes well up, they don’t know what to do with their hands, and they start shifting their weight from one leg to the other. It clearly makes them upset and uncomfortable. Then they realize, what I’m talking about happened decades ago, yet here I am telling the story of the worst days of my life, re-telling, over and over again. I’m sharing feelings that had been hidden away safely for so many years. They all ask, “Why would anyone want to change a law like that? What were they thinking?” I have no answer……
In 1994 a promise was made. The system promised to keep Beth’s killer in prison for life. Forever! On Christmas Eve 2013, the same system broke that promise by giving her killer and others exactly like him a “meaningful chance at parole.”
A close friend of Beth’s asked, “what can we do?” and a team was born. The accomplishments of this team are far too lengthy and will be another entry of its own.
In January 2014 we rallied legislators to act quickly and patch this hole and uphold the sentence of Life With Out Parole. Though some stayed committed, others turned their backs on victims and their families and voted against a bill that would keep juvenile killers in prison.
The New Year will bring new faces to Government and a renewed hope that changes can happen. If there is a sliver of an opening, I’ll use it to make things right again. Common sense, everyone has it, and we must exercise our right to force them to use it.
Author: Big brother to Beth Brodie, Sean Aylward is a regular everyday guy trying to right a wrong. Bringing victim’s voices back to a world hell bent on criminal rights