After 19 years in prison,
I got a second chance...
In 2002, I found cocaine. Combined with alcohol and insecurity I 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 my life together in prison. I mentored other men, earned a Bachelor's degree, became a journeyman electrician, wrote articles for publication and found a way forward.