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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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Noted Harris County Prosecutor Kelly Siegler Blogs

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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Harris County Criminal Justice Blog notes that Kelly Siegler Takes a Shot at Bloggingwith There’s No Such Thing as “Closure” on the Women in Crime Ink Blog

Can you imagine the bottomless pain that a parent endures when they have learned that their child has been murdered? As many times as I have met with and counseled with parents suffering through that agony–and told them that we are there to do all that we can to make sure that the defendant is convicted and punished justly–I have also had that “other” conversation with them.

You see, in our world, the world of a prosecutor who handles such cases (as I have, far too many times), we also talk about the fact that as parents, they shouldn’t put their lives on hold waiting for a defendant to be charged or arrested . . . or waiting for a trial to commence . . . or waiting for an appeal to be exhausted or even waiting for an execution to happen. I tell them that too many other parents, who have walked in their steps and truly do know their pain, have told me the truth.

The truth. The truth is that there is no such thing as “closure.”

Sure, you hear it all of the time. You hear that closure is what we should be seeking on behalf of victims everywhere. You hear experts and psychologists and even law enforcement officials all over the country talking about closure as if it is some “state of mind” that we can help a mommy and a daddy, who have learned they will never see their baby again, obtain.

But when you ask those same victims if any of that–the arrest, the conviction, the sentencing, the execution–ever truly helped them gain “closure,” you know what they all say? They all say no. They all say there is no such thing. They all say they are glad that phase of the process of the criminal justice system is complete. They all say thank you, and then they go back to having to figure out how to get up again the next morning and live another day in a world that no longer has the same color and light and joy in it that it did “before.”

Great stuff. Hopefully she keeps it up.

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