Criminal justice system success stories are all around us, though as a society, we don’t often hear about them, do we? Not nearly enough, in my opinion, but perhaps I’m biased, since I’m one of them.
These days, the focus seems to be lasered-in on the rush to success, living your life, having a family, and eventually retiring. The years are flying by, and we’ve all got walls up around us as we speed by the car going too slow, cursing as we pass. Again – maybe that’s just me.
My point is this: we’re so caught up in the day to day grind that as a society, I think we’ve lost something, namely the beautiful stories of second chances and a deeper appreciation for every single day that second chances open our eyes to.
Pardons Canada was the sunshine through the chaos in my life over a decade ago as I struggled to find my way through some mistakes I had made. I knew I was better than the decisions that got me into trouble with the law, and I went on a literal life mission to prove myself and regain my good name. Today, I’ve got a gripping, inspirational memoir entitled The Road to Myself: Dying to Live that’s going to be published in the next year or two (once I get a book deal, which I will – mark my words), and I’m making the most of the second chance I was granted by Canada’s National Parole Board in 2006.
Ian Levine (Director of Pardons Canada) cut through the smoke and mirrors of my fears and situation when it came to whether I’d ever get the chance to pursue my goal of working in the armoured car industry, and I never looked back. Well, I did go through some other life-altering challenges as years passed, but my name was cleared in 2006 as mentioned. I still had a weapon prohibition as a result of the utter threats conviction on my record (such prohibitions are automatic out of concern for public safety with such a charge, which I fully support), but I did get my firearms licence in 2011 as well.
The key takeaway here is that without the pardon from Pardons Canada, I wouldn’t even have been able to apply for the gun licence, go to visit the World Trade Center (finally) in 2012, or truly feel free! I can now look myself in the mirror and know that I’m a success story as a loving husband, father of two cats, and sincerely driven author of what will be numerous self-help/inspirational books to come.
So what happened to my decade-long mission of becoming an armed guard? Well, you’ll just have to read The Road to Myself: Dying to Live to find out! I can tell you this: more happened than you could imagine along the way.
Getting a pardon in Canada (and doing it right the first time) was easy with the help of Pardons Canada, and I will always be happy to give back through donating copies of my memoir, speaking to organizations such as police, criminal justice and social service professionals (to remind them of how they do make a difference), and donating a portion of my book’s sales to organizations that helped me when I clearly couldn’t help myself. They helped me open my eyes!
In eternal gratitude,