Friday, June 17, 2016

FINALLY: Justice for Tim Bosma

Tim and Sharlene Bosma

Just over three years ago, I wrote a blog post called Justice for Tim Bosma.  At that time, Tim's remains had just been found the day prior and I wrote that post with a lot of tears. I haven't posted about the details since then but I have followed the case closely and for the last 4+ months I have sat each and every day and followed the court case against his accused killers Dellen Millard and Mark Smich.

By "followed the case" I mean, I have literally sat at my work station and followed every single local journalist live-tweeting the daily court proceedings. From the first day of trial at 10am right up until today, as the jury has begun what will be their 5th day of deliberations on the verdicts for both accused. I've scheduled appointments for days court was not sitting, and hubby has graciously run errands in my place while I sat and followed the trial.  I didn't have to do any of that, but I did have to do it.  The brutality of this crime against such a great guy who adored his wife and baby girl, just compelled me somehow to put my own life on hold in a sense, and sit through this trial along with everyone else who loved and is still grieving for Tim. I didn't even know him, but if ever there was "he's Every Good Guy" from all accounts, it was him.

When I wrote that post 3 years ago, the investigation into Tim's death had just begun. Pretty much every question everyone had about the who, when, how, why, etc., has been answered as the result of that investigation and the details were more gruesome than any of us really wanted to know. Especially for Tim's parents, and Tim's wife.  And Laura Babcock's family as well, since the two accused in this case have also been charged in the first degree murder of Laura.  Something no one knew, until the investigation into Tim's murder.  It's even worse than that though.  Millard has also been charged in the murder of his own father.  A death that was initially ruled as a suicide, until this investigation just opened a huge can of worms.

I've never followed a court case before like this.  Even back when everyone and their dog seemed to be following the OJ case.  But this case was different, so I followed and I've learned a great deal about the way the criminal justice system works here in Ontario.

I've learned what type of evidence can be ruled either admissible or inadmissible, and why for each. I've learned how expert testimony is verified by the courts, and what they can and cannot say. I've learned that in certain types of cases, for a variety of reasons, legal arguments between the prosecution and defense cannot be in front of the jury, and they must be excused.  Those legal arguments can also not be disclosed publicly by any of the media or public present.  That part is very interesting.  The jury cannot hear what the attorneys are discussing but the public can if they happened to be in court that day.  I've learned much of what the jury was unable to hear was just as disturbing as what they did hear.  I've also learned how a judge charges the jury with their duties on how they're to reach a verdict.  It's a very complicated process and one that cannot be taken lightly but must be approached with all due diligence.  In this case, 12 jurors must come to a unanimous verdict (and they only have 4 possibilities to choose from) for each accused.  Each verdict doesn't have to be the same, but each does have to be unanimous.  I've never served on a jury but I can only imagine the gravity they are dealing with, as they decide the fate of these two accused.

So today I wait.  Sharlene Bosma waits. Tim's parents wait.  All the Bosma friends and family who are called the Bosma Army, waits.  Southern Ontario waits... Canada waits to learn what the jury will come back with.  While nothing can bring Tim back, we all wait for earthly justice for Tim, and many of us pray for this horrible chapter of life to be finally over for the Bosma family.