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Victim Impact Statement

Victim Impact Statement

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Published by thomas_burleson
This is my victim impact statement that I shared during the trail of the man that was drunk and killed my family.
This is my victim impact statement that I shared during the trail of the man that was drunk and killed my family.

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: thomas_burleson on Sep 02, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/29/2013

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 Good Afternoon your Honor, Mr. Beaderstat, Mr. McAuliffe, Anne Hensley and Mr.Komie.Beyond words, well beyond mortal reason.Where white light and white noiseMeet the howl of my wounded dying soulThere is much despair and the primal animal passion of loss.Few words,Fewer yet to listenTo the mourner’s taleOf journey & voyage beyond what I once was& further still to what I must become.This haunted wooded place has been, has becomemy sanctuary. Though there is little comfort here.The sound of breakage echos in the dark recesses of my mind…………….my soul.The cold wind shaking barren branchesslowly warms & calmsto a gentler breeze through new green leaves.This place absorbs my anger, my hate, and my hopelessness.My energy is spent exploring this forest.There is no sudden escape & no hope of rescue.I must navigate this on my own.Sometimes I run expecting to break free.Sometimes I merely run without purpose.Seeking only exhaustion and the troubled sleep that follows.Now I walk.Sometimes in strength,Sometimes with muscles protesting each movement.I live in the barrenness of this nightmareDespite its harshness on my mind, body and soul.I survived the early nights in the depth of winter.Too early for joy.The spring is unstable yet and kills the unwary.But I watch what there is to see,listen to the sounds of lifeinsistent above the din of death.I know the way out.I know also it is too early for me to leave1
 
The shelter this hell provides.I’ve lessons yet to learn, strength yet to gain& wounds not sufficiently healedto withstand the light of day.I’ve something of what I intended.What I am living is life and death.I will not understand more until I face my own physical death.I cannot see more clearly than I do now.The duties and demands of living will pull my attention away.The forest will recede and I wither away if I stay beyond my time.But for now, I am a forest creature. I am freeLoneliness is one cost of such freedom – others are less severe.I am a young man with old eyes…an old soul.It would have been easier to face my own death.I was powerless and unable to prevent their deaths.I am ashamed of my impotence,my own frailty,my inability to save my family.I know of no other way to survive this factOther than to be broken by it.When I began writing this poem it was a calm, cool spring eveningafter a mild, sunny day.Now the winds are howling.Hurricane force gusts are expected.The windows whistle.The house shakes.The foundation groans.The leaves are not yet on the tress and their branches rattle like brittle bones.Things left unattended today are blown into the night to haunt me in my dreams.Mr. Depner, I have forgiven you for killing my family. If you are a praying man, thennext time you say your prayers, you should thank God. It is because of God that I haveforgiven. If your forgiveness was left up to me, then it never would have happened.In fact, I have moments when I hate myself for forgiving you. I don’t understand how orwhy I forgave you. It makes me feel weak that I did; that somehow, I have failed myfamily or have shirked my responsibility as father and husband. This act of forgivenessleaves a vile, wretched taste in my mouth, but it’s something I had to do. It’s far betterthan the cold, dank, bottomless, black hatred I felt for you during the months immediatelyafter the accident.2
 
That hatred led me to the very cusp of suicide. I know that without forgiveness I wouldnot be able to survive, much less get on with my life. However, that does not makeforgiving you any easier.Mr. Depner, you killed my wife, Eva Marie Burleson, my son, Daniel James Burleson &my daughters, Tiffany Nicole Burleson and Dallis Leigh Burleson.I vividly remember when the doctor in the ER told me that my family had been killed. Hesaid my family did not suffer. I don’t think Eva and Tiffany suffered physically; Eva andTiff died instantly. Yet, what were their last thoughts in that second before you droveyour minivan through my family? What were your last thoughts before the accident, Mr.Depner? Do you remember or were you too drunk to realize what was happening rightbefore your eyes?My son, DJ, laid in a puddle of his own blood, alone in the middle of Rt. 120: gurgling,fighting for his life; a hole in his head large enough to accommodate a human fist. Mydaughter, Dallis, lay pinned in my microbus, struggling to breathe, fighting for her life.What did you do that night Mr. Depner? You called your wife on your cell phone. Didyou ask Mrs. Depner to call 911? No, you did not. You asked her to call your lawyer.Then you lit a cigarette and smoked it while my family lay shattered, broken and dyingall around you. Did you look down at my son and just walk away? Why didn’t you call911 then? What would you expect someone to do if that was one of your family memberslying there, instead of my son?I have nightmares about Daniel and Dallis. I see Daniel ejected from my VW microbus. Isee the look on his face when Daniel realizes that he is about to die. I watch Daniel hit theconcrete. I hear the crunch of his skull. Suddenly, I am standing over Daniel, lookingdown at him, watching the blood pour out of my son’s head. The last vision I have isstanding in a puddle of Daniel’s blood. I wake up screaming, covered in sweat.I watch Dallis struggle to free herself. I can read her thoughts. Dallis does not understandwhy her mommy and daddy are not there to help her, to save her, to stop the pain. Thelast thought Dallis has before she dies is: Do my mommy and daddy love me? Onceagain, I wake up screaming, covered in sweat.In July of 2001, Mr. Depner, you mailed a letter to the Daily Herald explaining your so-called innocence. In the letter, you made the following statements:1.
 
You saved my life by pulling me from my microbus.2.
 
You smelled alcohol on my breath.3.
 
There was a can of beer between my legs.4.
 
You were ordered by the McHenry Cty. Sheriff’s Police to not mention any of these supposed facts.5.
 
You accused me of having an alcohol and drug arrest on my record. And finally,6.
 
That you are a good man.3

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