Letter: Horrifying trial brought out the best in so many people
In the midst of the seemingly impenetrable darkness that surrounded the death of three precious girls, strong beams of light broke through to Jessica Schaffhausen and her extended family that came from Illinois, Michigan and California to support her as they relived horror in the pursuit of justice.
I had the opportunity to interact with the family, law enforcement and other entities that were part of trial. I had a rare, privileged view of a good portion of this difficult and necessary undertaking.
Time and again, Jessica's relatives spoke with humble gratitude for the friendliness, care and support they received from those inside and outside the St. Croix County legal system.
The legal system functioned with precision, integrity and heart. I am grateful by what I saw displayed by those surrounding this weighty, painful process.
My appreciation for our public servants skyrocketed as I observed the clerk of courts, victim witness, sheriff departments, River Falls police, district attorney and state attorney general offices operate in a fashion that made this resident, taxpayer and fan of St. Croix County proud. Judge Howard Cameron was a faithful steward of what St. Croix County has entrusted to him as he cared for the family, witnesses, spectators, media, prosecution and defense throughout the trial in a manner both legal and gracious.
I would ask you to consider praying for those who endured the whole trial and were exposed to soul scarring words and materials: Jessica, her parents, aunt and uncle, the bailiffs, court reporter and judge.
Please remember the jury -- ordinary citizens were saturated with the brokenness of our world. They served justice and all of us in exemplary fashion.