Class Notes 3/21/17

Aaron Thomas Victim Impact Statement

Aaron Thomas’ victim impact statement is raw, emotional, and powerful yet it is also composed. Aaron has a lot of grief and anger but he also has an extreme amount of faith that really shines through his statement. Obviously he is hurt, his dad was taken away from him but I think he shows true strength in what he writes. He writes the statement as if he is speaking to Mark Becker and that makes it extremely powerful and emotional. Aaron also gives insight into the legend that was Ed Thomas. The anger is clear and so is the grief. Aaron writes: “I would like to tell Mark Becker how my goodbye to my father went… I walked in to see my dad with a breathing tube in him, blood stains still around his ears, and near his gunshot wounds. I could see his eyes that were black all the way around from the head trauma. I could see the kick and stomp marks on his chest and head… This was my goodbye to my dad”. Aaron also expresses how his life was turned upside down. As if losing a father wasn’t enough, he was approached to replace his father as head football coach and athletic director at A-P.

My heart broke when Aaron talked about his three sons, ages 6, 4, and 2, and how he would like to hear what Mark would have to say to them about why their Grandpa wasn’t around any more. The impact of Ed Thomas was clear when Aaron states: “You have robbed my three kids of a man they loved. You robbed my mom of her loving husband, you have robbed Todd and I of a dad who we admired, loved, and learned from. You robbed so many young people of the opportunity to learn and become the best they could be”.

Perhaps the most inspiring part of this statement is the true strength that I saw in the words. “the bad news for Mark Becker is my dad’s message still rings… The message of continuing to do your best, to help others in need, to give everything you got, to be accountable and dependable, to be substance free, those messages are still being spoken… So while you thought you were ending my dad’s message of being good people, you have only spread it all the more! Through your actions the entire nation now knows what Ed Thomas stood for… You and Satan had a well designed plan to kill my dad but no vision of how your ruthless act would spread the word of God and the message of my dad all the more. Once again Mark, you have failed!”. It is truly inspiring to see this type of a response from a young man who just lost his father. The fact that Ed Thomas’ lessons and legacy lives on through him and that Aaron had the guts to say that even in committing murder, Mark Becker failed shows a lot of courage and strength.

The faith that he has is truly special and no doubt he got that from his father. Aaron’s final words are: “We will continue my dad’s message… We will see my dad again in Heaven. We will not let you and Satan win by filling our hearts with sin and ask God why us. God does not do evil but he does allow it. Through my dad’s murder HIS God was glorified!”. Again, this just shows his faith and his strength. I don’t think I could be strong like that. I would certainly want to be but I am amazed by Aaron Thomas’ faith and strength through this unimaginable tragedy.

Supreme Court Justice Nominee Hearing

Neil Gorush’s Statement

Grassley swore him in

3 things I learned about him

“I am honored and humbled to be here”

met with over 70 senators, warm welcome

thank a lot of people

“long before we’re democrats and republicans, we’re Americans”

wants to be faithful servant to the laws and constitution

“success in life has very little to do with success”

“lawyers exist to help people with their problems, not the other way around”

“judges can disagree without being disagreeable”

“a case isn’t just a number or a name, it’s a life’s story”

“sometimes the answers we reach aren’t the ones we prefer”

“putting on a robe does not make me smarter”

“putting on the robe reminds us that it’s time to lose our ego and open our minds”



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