Sunday, November 1, 2009

the pardon

A while ago someone on one of the docks I service came up to me and simply said, “You don’t know me, but I know you through my father, who you do know. I owe you big time.”

“Oh?” I asked.

“Yup. A couple of years ago, you and my dad were talking and I guess he mentioned how I had a criminal record. You told him to see if the governor would grant me a pardon. He did, and without it I would not have gotten to work here.”

It took me a while, but I remembered the conversation.

The guy I was talking to was a longshoreman I’d known a while and he was pretty upset over the fact that his kid was having a hard time finding decent work with a drug conviction behind him.

I asked the guy about the circumstances of the arrest and conviction. It seems like it was one of those deals where one guy in the group was carrying dope, and because the damned druggie wouldn’t stand up and cop to it that three guys went down for it.

I remember thinking a while and asking the longshoreman several questions pertinent to the bust.

It had happened several years ago, his kid had been on the straight and narrow since, and there really was no proof that the kid had actually been involved in the actual possession. According to the longshoreman, his kid was a pretty good kid that had just gotten caught up in one of those things.

I asked why he didn’t try and fight it in court and he explained that his attorney advised him simply to take the deal the state offered, since there was no jail time involved. He said that at the time they were just not thinking ahead.

I remember telling the longshoreman that the only way I could think of getting his record cleared up was to appeal to the governor for a pardon, if they did things like that in his state. I also told him it was a longshot.

A couple of months later, I ran into the longshoreman and he told me that they were putting in the paperwork for the pardon, even though he said it seemed like a waste of time. I didn’t see the longshoreman again, and heard he was retiring medically. I forgot all about it.

A couple of years later, I heard about it from the son when he came up to me.

You never know what life will bring you.

hope you had a happy Halloween.

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