Sketch by Cliff Derksen (Father of Candace)
During the trial of Mark Edward Grant for the 1984 murder of Candace Derksen.
As an actor his success is in acting like he's telling the truth but making you doubt him. His job was to make you and me not believe anything he says. Over-the-top doubt.
At the trial of the man accused of murdering our daughter the defence's job is also to create doubt. But it is to be "reasonable doubt." The court system understands this and that is good.
During the trial I noticed something else about doubt amiss. Very quickly the defence went past reasonable doubt to what I'm calling irresponsible doubt. It inspired me to draw the sketch you see above. I saw an arsenal of weapons that were there to destroy and intimidate the good people who came to help, to agree to be witnesses, share there expertise and testimony for the cause of truth.
I am naïve enough to think that a trial is there to get to the truth. If we are intimidating the witnesses by demeaning and mocking them on the stand, they will become so fearful and disturbed or distraught that they will stop talking. They might even omit important aspects of what they have to offer. Anyone who is slandered or intimidated will not freely share what really happened and just say what they have to and get out of there as soon as possible.
This in my mind is irresponsible. I believe such tactics actually hinder the truth from coming out. It's silencing a key element that makes our justice system work, destroying the purity and freedom of valuable testimony a witness offers. Messing with one of the prime sources of truth and information we need to make the system work. To either clear the accused or find him/her guilty beyond a "reasonable" doubt.
Right now, the whole trial experience sounds like Hap Shaughnessy the Red Green character. Is the whole story and experience of the trial just a sham? A game they play. Who is the defence really playing to with their tactics? Is it just a business of big words, fantastic intimidating tactics, spoken with a display of overconfident strutting and verbalizing, which brings all of us to doubt the reality of the results. An over the top confidence that causes us to doubt the results, results no one can trust?
The reason I'm thinking about this is because I'm developing a sculpture expressing these "irresponsible doubt" tactics I was seeing during the trial. What would symbolise this? Maybe the sketch above has the idea I need.
Let's get the hands into the clay and see where this sculpture idea takes me. Stay tuned.