We didn’t set out to meet Lanee Danforth – or anyone at the DA’s office for that matter. But as it happened, we were given the opportunity to have a young lady come live in our house. Shortly after this, a subpoena showed up at our door, and she was being required to testify in a trial. This piece of paper became like a black cloud over this young woman and the date was looming in the distance, causing stress and anxiety to build every day. As the trial got closer, we called the DA’s office to figure out how to help her and they set up a meeting with the victim’s assistance office and the attorney assigned to the case.
This meeting was the best thing that could have happened to relieve the stress and anxiety which was beginning to control every minute of this girl’s days. As the meeting began, Lanee started speaking and immediately her tone of voice and calm demeaner soothed all of our fears. She assured us that the outcome of the trial was based solely upon the competence of her as the prosecuting attorney and is not the responsibility of the victim. She placed such a huge emphasis upon the fact that it is of utmost importance to simply tell the truth and leave the rest up to her. We appreciated the value she placed upon the truth over anything else.
During this meeting, she gave the young lady a gummy bear and had her squish it between her fingers, then let go to watch the bear come back to its original shape. Lanee explained that sometimes it feels like we are being squished by pressures or stresses in life. But just as being squeezed did not permanently damage the bear, we too can be resilient and bounce back. Life can really make us feel like we are not ourselves and cause too much stress, but there is hope that when it is over, we will regain ourselves and will have learned life lessons along the way.
The day of the trial came and there were many stressful moments, mostly caused by the defense attorney and the judicial process. However, through it all, Lanee retained her calm, controlled demeaner and was the rock which our young lady needed. The outcome of the trial was of lesser importance than the attitudes and actions which were displayed and modeled for a young, vulnerable girl who now has Lanee as a role model to look up to. She certainly has our vote for District Attorney.
Lance & Kelli Simonds