My first job ever took me into the slave fields of Arkansas. As an innocent teenager in a world built upon cruelty and punishment, it took every ounce of strength I had to not only do the physically grueling work but to maintain my humanity and foster compassion for everyone I came across. It was no easy task. Working as a slave in the Arkansas Department of Correction you receive no pay whatsoever. You instead work for the privilege of having visitation and not being placed in the hole. Eventually I would earn my way out of the slave fields and given jobs in the kitchen, laundry, and other jobs, eventually leading the law library Varner Supermax. I took pride in every job I had, especially those that allowed me to help others.
After I was released and co-founded Proclaim Justice (PJ) to help other victims of wrongful conviction, including some I did time with who I promised I would never forget. From its founding, PJ has been based in Austin, TX where its co-founder, John Hardin, lives. John would toil for years in Austin trying to put feet under the organization while I attended college and got my own feet underneath me in Seattle. We succeeded in getting a solid foundation built for the organization and John summoned me from Seattle to take on the role of Deputy Director! I talked to my wife Holly and we agreed this is where my heart and passion are and we dropped everything and made the long drive – visiting all our friends along the way! Now we are here and I am finally doing what my heart calls me to do! Freeing innocents! I am also continuing my education and working for my undergraduate degree with the plan to go on to law school and combine that education with my experiences to be a force of good in Proclaim Justice for the world! I am both humbled and empowered by this opportunity! Thank you to all who have strived to make this possible!