After 19 years in prison,
I got a second chance...
In 2002, I found cocaine and quickly went from a kid graduating high school to strung out and barely hanging on.
Just after my 18th birthday I committed a robbery and separate shooting. I was rightly arrested and remember feeling a huge sense of relief that someone had stopped me because I hadn't been able to stop myself.
The upper range of the sentencing guideline was 16 years. The judge sentenced me to double that, 32 years.
I was crushed. But I got back up. With the benefit of great love and support, I put together a new life. I mentored other men, earned a Bachelor's degree, became a journeyman electrician, wrote articles for publication and found a way forward.
In 2021 the Governor of Virginia granted me a conditional pardon and released me. Since then I built a social media platform to raise awareness and advocate for change. In 2022 I founded the Second Chancer Foundation to create support and opportunities for others leaving the carceral system.