Imagine being alone in the world believing that you're not relevant or allowed to live a decent life after a mistake you made as a 17 year old "child". We've all made mistakes in our youth, but are fortunate to have had loving family to help us become successful adults. Some people are not so lucky.
I'd like you to meet Chris. Once he was a young impoverished teen... He came from an abusive home where his own parents tried to end his life numerous times, beat him with anything they could find, and even shot at him. Not a way to grow up. Starved for attention and affection, and longing to "fit in" like most teens, he meets a couple of older young people... Who weren't the best influence unfortunately. These guys pick up the misguided youth and decide to go on a beer run... 1993 this was not as uncommon as we'd like to believe. Chris rides along. The older guys expose him to drugs and alcohol... And while inside the guys decide to rob the store and make Chris stand near the front. The cashier attacks him and he defends himself, as violence is all he knows courtesy of his parents. The police come and arrest them.
Once in custody, his parents are happy to be free of him... He's "not their problem" anymore. Chris is left alone in a world he knows nothing about, with no money, and no one to guide him. He's given a public defender who made numerous errors in his defense because the kid was "just a waste of time and tax dollars". While awaiting trial, a new law passes that would effect his life forever. The jury decides to make an example of this youth as a "tough on crime" exhibition. Chris... A 17yr old boy is sentenced to life in prison... All for hanging with the wrong crowd and being at the wrong place at the wrong time. The appeals attorney did nothing to help him and even the judge states his disapproval with that attorney in the court records. Chris is sent to prison... Once again in an environment to fight for his life... Forever.
Years pass and he's all alone until one day he receives a letter. Its a stranger extending their hand to be a friend. They talk of anything and everything. Chris has been making strides to grow up and become a better person. He takes classes... Anything he can. He gets in the G.E.D. program, the G.R.A.D. program, takes a job within the prison in a factory, and even attends religious services. Over time, his friendship with the stranger develops into something more and he learns the true meaning of unconditional love and support. He finds a supportive lady, gets married... now he has a wife and even step children. And all he desires is to come home and be a husband, father, and productive member of society... All he desires is that 2nd Chance at a life he's never known. His wife even spoke with attorneys who believe the jury's verdict was excessive and unfair... And they believe that he should be given a second chance too.
As parents, ministers, youth counselors, and even just concerned family and friends, its our duty to guide the youth on a path of success so they don't endure such heartache, misfortune, and even social stigmas. This man is now 42 years old... He's no longer a misguided youth. He is a changed person... An educated and humble man. He is human all we want is justice... The way he should have received it 23yrs ago. We want to bring him home and give him a chance to live. Many people will frown because he's "just an inmate" and some may even say "disposable"... But every human deserves a second chance at life. Could we sit back idle if it was our child or family member? I know I couldn't. Thanks for reading and opening up your hearts and minds to unconditional love.
(*100% of all donations will be going towards legal fees to help Chris)