Those of us who have lost loved-ones in school shooting can only find peace and begin to move on when our questions are answered. Then and only then will we begin to find anything remotely approaching “peace.” Only when the largesse of stupidity, incompetence, lies, and deceit is exposed will peace be remotely within reach.
We will find peace when those in authority in Virginia who have the answers find the courage to tell the truth; when they have the backbone to put their careers and their pursuit of personal enrichment aside and face the reality of who and what they are; the reality of what they have been sworn to defend and uphold—truth and justice.
Judge Moore, the judge in Peter Odighiuwa’s case, early on granted a defense motion to bar Commonwealth witnesses from calling for the death penalty. The judge said, “(the) victims’ opinion as to what the sentence should be is not relevant.” The Commonwealth’s Attorney did not object. If I understand the judge’s words correctly, the family of Angela Denise Dales had no right to address the jury. Even Odighizuwa’s defense attorney expressed surprise that no objection was raised.
The funny thing is that I don’t remember any member of Angie’s family abdicating the right to Sheila Tolliver or Judge Moore to decide when and where we would voice our opinion about what penalty Odighizuwa would receive.
When the whole legal ordeal began, Angie’s father said to Ms. Tolliver, “I hope when this is all over and I see you on the street, you will be able to look me in the eyes.” Peter Odighizuwa’s trial is over and Sheila Tolliver never looked Danny Dales in the face whey they passed on the street. She never looked him in the face right up until the day he died in January 2013.
How can we move on, how can we forgive when at least one professor at the Appalachian School of Law uses his bully pulpit to belittle the Dales family’s effort to seek justice in a court of law. He did this in front of a class that included a shooting victim; he ridiculed and belittled the victims’ attempts to find restitution and justice through the courts. (To be continued)