Why, then, do I write today?
It is on the subject of "Victim Impact" statements. Prior to the sentencing, families of the victims made statements in court concerning how Dennis Rader's crimes had affected them. Supposedly, such statements are to help provide closure for the families. In my experience, however, much of the time these statements merely provide a forum for angry, hurt people to hurl invective. And I truly wonder if this is healthy.
Please, please don't get me wrong. Dennis Rader is an evil monster and is getting his just desserts. My guess is, is that he is going to have a rather unpleasant time of it in prison.
I am not a shrink -- and have no desire to play one on TV -- but as someone with many years of ministerial experience, I question if such statements really bring closure, or a "cathartic moment". Rather, I have real concern for the spiritual and psychological well-being of these individuals. Do they truly aid the healing process?
I would love to hear from clergy and/or counselors on this point.