Yesterday was the sentencing for the person who killed our friend and fellow cyclist, Stan Miller. Prior to the sentencing, individuals were invited to submit Community Impact Statements that would then be read and considered by the judge in Stan’s case. The purpose of these statements is to show the implications of a person’s death on the community.
Prior to Stan’s death, I was unfamiliar with community impact statements. I had never felt cause to write one, and doing so was more difficult than I anticipated. Revisiting Stan’s death, in addition to thinking about how it has affected me and our community, was painful. I also wondered about the importance of writing my statement. Does anyone read these? What does my statement matter?
I now believe someone does read them and they make a difference. One of the local Maryland papers, The Gazette, noted that over 50 victim impact statements were written on behalf of Stan Miller, and that six of them were read at the sentencing. I don’t know if they combined the community and victim impact statements together and called them all “victim impact statements,” or if the community impact statements were an additional number of letters. Either way, it shows me that what people wrote about Stan mattered to the case.
While Stan was not a close relative or friend of mine, there are people we intersect with throughout our lives that may not be our closest friends, but make our lives better in some way. Stan was one of those people in my life.
He did his own thing. Stan had an easy smile and a great enthusiasm for bike riding. He loved wearing his bib tights, carrying his own cooking gear on occasion, and showing off his hysterical helmet hair. I admired his skills as a bike mechanic and his willingness to help others. He was good riding company and fun to talk with over post-ride pizza and pop.
I’m glad I wrote my community impact statement and that others did, too. Stan was part of our community, and and he was violently taken from us before he was supposed to go.
We miss you, Stan.