Jim Wright never got a chance to tell jurors the feelings he had for Ron and Dan Lafferty after he saw for the first time 12 years ago his dead daughter and granddaughter in a casket.
The jurors didn't know that Brenda Wright Lafferty was beaten so badly that her father didn't recognize her at the Twin Falls, Idaho, funeral home."I've never felt so much rage as when I looked down in that casket and saw what they did to her," Jim Wright said.
Jurors also didn't know that Erica Lafferty's throat was slashed so severely that the baby's head wouldn't sit straight in the casket. Brenda's and Erica's injuries were so extensive that Brenda's sisters and brother never got to tell the two goodbye. The casket, containing both bodies, was closed for the funeral.
Still, without knowing the Wrights' feelings, jurors Tuesday sentenced Ron Lafferty to die. And now, after learning the fate of the man who killed Brenda and Erica, members of the Wright family have returned to their places in the world - leaving the rage they once felt behind. The family was not pulling for the death penalty, only for justice.
"Whether he lives or dies, he's still responsible," said Sharon Weeks, Brenda's sister.
For the Wright family, sitting through three weeks of testimony, facing Ron and Dan Lafferty for the first time and reliving the brutal slayings of Brenda and Erica was not easy. But for most, Ron Lafferty's second trial was a healing process. The second sentence of death finally closes the book on the family's most-horrifying chapter.
"I think we can finally put this behind us and get on with our lives," said Brenda's mother, LaRae Wright.
"We've never worried much about Brenda and Erica; we know they're being taken care of," Jim Wright said. "But some of us still had some hard times, and I think this allows us to move on."
Lafferty's first trial healed few wounds because none of the Wrights attended. The second trial was the first time Brenda's younger sisters heard intricate details of the killings. They now have a better understanding of what happened.
Betty McEntyre, Brenda's closest sister, said seeing Ron and Dan Lafferty in court finally made her father realize that he couldn't have prevented the killings.
"He saw them, he faced them and he now knows what kind of men they are. He knows there's nothing he could have done," McEntyre said.
For the first time in almost a decade, the family also got to talk about their feelings with Brenda's husband, Allen Lafferty.
"Allen knows that Brenda loved him and the things she did were because of her love," McEntyre said.
The family is disappointed that they didn't get to tell jurors a little about Brenda's life. They wanted jurors to know that she was a loving and caring person and not the person Lafferty painted her as being.
The most difficult part for the Wrights was hearing defense attorneys tell jurors that Lafferty is remorseful. The family said the statements are untrue.
"If he wanted forgiveness, the first person he should have gone to was Allen. But he's had plenty of time to show remorse, and there's been absolutely none," Jim Wright said.
The Wrights know that the death penalty means the case could drag out for several more years in appeals. However, family members are confident the verdict will stand and say they'll likely pay little attention to future proceedings.
"I don't think (the appeals process) will be painful or a hardship on us at all," Jim Wright said.