I am writing to recommend against the parole of XXXXX. Nearly four years ago, Mr. XXXX ran a stop sign, and hit the car that my best friend, XXXXX, was driving, killing both him and his beloved girlfriend, XXXXX.
Losing [BFF] has impacted so many people who were close to him. We have changed in irrevocable ways, and not for the better. The shock of losing a beloved grandson so suddenly due to the careless actions of someone who fled the scene to avoid taking responsibility for his actions caused his grandfather to suffer an immediate, sharp decline in his health from which he has not fully recovered. His parents have, only recently, been able to piece together a sense of normality in their own lives. I know that they have written letters, as have other friends, so I will let them speak for themselves.
[BFF] was like a brother to me, and we had a friendship that I think will never be duplicated in my lifetime. He was the sort of friend that you could call up in times of trouble, and you’d always finish the conversation feeling better. At the time of his death, I had known him for almost ten years- we progressed from teenagers to young adults together, and we knew each other so well that we could read each other’s thoughts just from slight changes of expression that went unnoticed by others. He was the most loyal friend anyone could ever find, and there was nothing that he loved more (other than architecture) than eating good food, listening to good music, and spending time with his friends. As an intellect, a spiritual musician, an artist, and even occasional athlete; his kind will not soon be in the world again.
Mr. XXXX took away from me the person in the world who was most dear to me. It took me a full two years to even start to feel normal again, and I’m still hit with overwhelming waves of grief at times, sometimes when I least expect it. I think the worst thing, though, is that there is nothing in life that is truly, purely joyous anymore because there is always a shadow of sadness lurking in the background. Even at my wedding a year ago, I felt an immense grief that not only was my dearest friend not there to share in my joy, but also that I was going on a path that he would never be able to experience himself. I was reminded of my loss again this past weekend at another wedding. I wonder if I will ever be able to experience pure, unadulterated joy again, and I doubt that I will. Even though I know he is in heaven looking down on me and all his friends and family, I admit being selfish. I would prefer that he was here.
[BFF] died during a time that was a crossroads for him. He had just graduated from [University], where he had the Dean’s Scholarship, the highest possible honor for students entering [University]. He had spent a year in the Study Abroad program, which was also a program that was very competitive to get into, and he had also received honors for his senior thesis. When Mr. XXXX ran that stop sign at [street] and [crossstreet], and killed my friend and his girlfriend, [BFF] was in the process of planning his future. He was incredibly excited about starting his professional life, and being with [his girlfriend], whom he loved very much. While Mr. XXXX was hiding from police to avoid taking responsibility for his actions, I was tracking down the names of architecture firms where he had three job interviews scheduled two weeks later. [BFF] was nothing if not conscientious and responsible, and I knew that he would never want senior professionals in his chosen avocation to believe that he was a lazy slacker who cared so little about himself and others that he stood up his interviewers, because this was the complete opposite of his true nature.
While it is part of life that people die, [BFF]’s death was entirely unnatural and unnecessary. So many of [BFF] and [his girlfriend'’s friends and family have suffered tremendously due to the careless, reckless, and illegal actions of Mr. XXXX. He stole from the world a budding architectural talent, a loving and respectful son and brother, and a caring and loyal friend. I ask the Parole Board to please keep Mr. XXXX incarcerated, not only because such a loss requires the fulfillment of a just punishment, but to prevent, at least for the remainder of his full sentence, any other people from having to suffer from his mistakes. My understanding is that when this accident happened, he was on parole for another drug-related offense, so you will forgive me if I am skeptical about his rehabilitation. Our suffering was something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, so I certainly wouldn’t wish it on anyone else that he might cross paths with. I would not even wish it on Mr. XXXX. No amount of suffering on his part will bring [BFF] and [his girlfriend] back and heal our wounds. I am content with his original sentence, and ask no more, but I also ask no less. It is too late for me and for the rest of his loved ones, but please protect other innocent families from the same fate suffered at the same hands.