len's masthead




londoner editor pic





For the past two months the media has focused on the criminal trial of Michael Rafferty who was charged with the abduction, rape and the murder of Tori Stafford. Friday night, May 11/12, we learned that he was convicted on all charges.

We owe a debt to the twelve anonymous jurors who gave of their time to see that justice was done. February 29/12 nine men and three women who were randomly selected served their community duty. They could have asked to be excused because of obligations to their family, health concerns, career obligations and various other personal reasons but they didnít.

Sitting in a court room for ten weeks from ten to five hearing of the horrific abuse of eight year old Tori I am sure it took an emotional toll on the jurors.

One doesnít serve for the money with the courts paying $40.00 per day which when you do the math adds up to $6.00 per hour. You have to pay for your own parking but the courts pay mileage of $0.32 per k for those who have to drive to the court house.

There is no recognition/praise from society when "Mr or Ms Anonymous" are assigned a number i.e 9385 that designates who they are. No photographs write ups in the newspaper or images on television are permitted to show that you have served on a jury.

Employers are not obligated to pay remuneration for time missed at work but you can not be dismissed from your job because of time served for jury duty.

Now that the court proceedings have ended the jurors will try and go back home to try and return to their former lives. I wager that the memory of the trial will stay with the jurors for the rest of their lives. Perhaps a dark psychic scar that may remind them of the cruel fate that Kori had to endure. Post traumatic stress can linger on for the jurors long after the public has forgot the newspaper banner headlines. For those in need of help coping the courts provide counseling services.

So, you may ask why these good citizens gave of their time to serve their community? Simple answer: Justice for Tori Stafford and her family.

We all owe a special thank you to the anonymous twelve good people who served on the jury. Our judicial system provides for a fair open trial and closure to those who are accused/victims allowing them to have their day in court. In the end justice prevailed. We can all feel a little prouder/safer knowing that our judicial system works.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com