55 days after my 21st birthday, I was convicted of all charges against me, and sentenced to death. The very next morning I was abruptly taken out of jail and transported to San Quentin State Prison, where I was handed over to the warden on California’s Death Row.
The classification board cleared me to participate in the exercise yard, so each morning after being strip-searched and handcuffed, I am escorted to a concrete ‘yard’, 40 by 60 feet in size, where I mingle with other inmates for several hours before being escorted back inside.
After being here eight years, two executions occurred. When each of their executions took place, something very profound happened to me.
I took their deaths very hard and became depressed. In my cell one night, with that quiet cell door closed, I fell to my knees on the floor with tears streaming down my face.
I begged God to help and repented all my sins. While on the floor, despondent and broken hearted, a peace I had never known came washing over me. Jesus became my Lord and Savior that night.
Until then, I had been reading the Bible, but my dyslexia had made it quite hard to understand. I kept at it each morning and the spirit and the word became my teacher and my counselor. I was transformed into a new creation.
Next, came the renewing of my mind. I began going to sleep earlier and was awakened in the twilight hours by the spirit of God so that in the early quiet hours I could read and re-read God’s word. The very first thing I wanted each morning was more of God’s presence, peace and His love.
As I began living my life through God, with his Son Jesus, as my high priest, I began taking baby steps in my life’s renewal. I began fasting, just a couple meals at first, in order to clear my mind and body and before long I was able to fast for several days at a time, consuming nothing but water.
Reading his living word pierced my spirit and soul more clearly than any blade could do. I have been praying for others whom Satan has in bondage. It is my desire to reach, teach comfort and encourage our youth in juvenile hall centers all over the world.