There is nothing I can imagine more terrifying than a parole interview. All the time under your belt means nothing in those brief moments. Your entire life depends upon how you present yourself, how you project, body language. It’s all on the line, and you might not get a chance to see the review process again for God knows how long.
I’ve waited five long years for each of the last two. That’s 1,825 days between each, or 43,800 hours. It is 2,628,000 minutes – or, yes, 159,680,000 seconds. But, who’s counting? I certainly have been…
At the interview, you are in an awkward situation if you have amassed an impressive resume that includes certificates of completion in areas of Bible Study, Vocational Classes, Self Improvement, and Educational or Rehabilitation Programs, such as Substance Abuse and Anger Management. With that approach, you risk looking so desperate to go home, that you’ll do anything to get there, like an actor in a movie playing the perfect part. When the cameras go off, will you go back to being the criminal they perceive you to be?
If you sit in your chair and do nothing, you might appear as if you don’t care about your future and you do not wish to go home. You’re seen as being comfortable in your little space.
If you appear calm, cool, and collected, does that mean you are unremorseful, cold and calculated…
If you pour your heart out, you’re seen as over emotional, not in control, capable of doing something similar to what brought you there in the first place.
Put simply, you’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t.
All I’ve ever had was the truth. All I’ve ever shared was the truth.
There’s no way to sugar coat the worst three minutes of your life. Those three minutes that affected the last 25 years, not only for yourself but your family and friends – those you hold dear.
It is said that regret is such a waste of time. That you cannot change the past and therefore to spend hours, months and years regretting something you can’t change is fruitless. I disagree.
To forget the past is to chance repeating it. That isn’t an option for me. I made the worst mistake anyone can make, to ever consider forgetting it, is to chance repeating it. I will hold tight to these regrets until the day I die. But, what has bound me to these emotions will not affect the way I feel, think or react. My lesson, bad or good, must be maintained as a reference.
I’m just a man. Men make mistakes. Good men make bad mistakes. Good men know how important it is to not make the same mistakes again. That’s what I told them, from my heart. And if they set me off again, for however long they determine – that’s what I’ll tell them again – from the heart.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ‘Shipwrecked, Abandoned, Misunderstood’, but he still has the things his father instilled in him – humility, respect and love. In spite of 25 years behind bars, he continues to wake up every day holding on to his humanity and on a mission to change the world for the better.
John Green #671771
C.T. Terrell Unit A346
Rosharon, TX 77583