This is my Victim Impact Statement apropos of this post, hurriedly written before I leave for Palestine.
Essex County Prosecutor’s Office of Victim Witness Advocacy
Victim Impact Information Form
Prosecutor’s File #: 16-002203
Defendant’s Name: Michael Ramos
Your Name: Irfan* Khawaja
I understand that this case has been downgraded to prosecution in Bloomfield Municipal Court. Nonetheless, I’d like to say that minor as the theft was in the larger scheme of things, it’s been a real hassle for me. I have a spinal injury, which is what the orthopedic pillow was for. I went ahead and bought a new one at my own expense.** The documentation for the expense is in my email–I ordered the pillow online–but I don’t have a printer at home, and I’m about to go on a long trip abroad, so I don’t have time to go in to work or the public library, print it out, and attach the necessary documentation for a restitution order.*** Anyway, I expect that the defendant, if found guilty, will also be found judgment-proof, so I’ll just have to forego restitution.****
In lieu of monetary restitution, I’m taking the opportunity here to vent. If found guilty, please inform the defendant that I am pissed. Inform him that my stuff is not his for the taking, and if he thinks he has problems, well, so do I. Want to trade places with my spinal injury? Doubt it. Want to wake up some days and not feel your right foot? Probably not. Want to have to walk around some days at age 47 with a cane? Let me guess. But you don’t see me going around stealing your stuff, do you? Or anybody else’s.
Ultimately, I don’t care about the sentence or the legal niceties here. It’s too pointless and inconvenient to go through the steps for a restitution order, and I know that I’m submitting the Victim Impact Form seven weeks after the due date. I just want the guilty party to know where I stand, even if that’s all I get in the way of restitution from him.*****
*Not “Ifran,” goddammit.
**Malouf Talalay Latex Zoned Pillow. Yes, Queen. It was $79.99 + $9.19 shipping when I bought it.
***I’m supposed to be packing right now. Forget TSA delays: at this rate, I’m just going to miss the damn flight altogether.
****The police told me as much. Recall, incidentally, that the defendant confessed to the crime and several related ones. I’ve written the statement so as to observe the presumption of innocence before any finding of guilt. If Mr. Ramos isn’t the guilty party, the statement can be understood to be addressed to whoever is the guilty party. I mean, somebody is.
*****And even if I can’t feel my right foot when I do, or have to use a cane (or both).