When Edward Martell went to court in 2005 To plead guilty of selling and making cracks, he thought his life was over. However, Bruce Morrow, a Michigan judge, decided to give him a second chance.
Martell, then 27, had committed multiple violations of the law until he was arrested during an anti-drug operation. When he pleaded guilty to selling and manufacturing crack, he knew he could spend 20 years in prison.
Judge Morrow saw the young Martell and understood the circumstances that had led the young man to life in crime. So he gave him a three-year suspended sentence and a challenge: to return to the same court with one performance.
Last week as reported The Washington PostEdward returned to the same courthouse as Bruce Morrow, but this time to fulfill his promise: to be sworn in as a lawyer in the same courtroom in which he pleaded guilty.
“It was kind of a joke, though [Edward] I understood that I believed it could be anything I wanted, “said Judge Morrow The Washington Post.
After his first meeting with the judge, Edward earned a high school degree and then a scholarship to study law. He always stayed in touch with the judge who inspired him.
Detroit judge Bruce Morrow gave a drug dealer a second chance. This month he will start practicing as a lawyer. – – @DeadlineDetroit https://t.co/nC1hG0M8yy @ 3rdccorg @waynecountymi pic.twitter.com/NpOgoyrOWE
– MI Supreme Court (@MISupremeCourt) May 21, 2021
Martell took a rigorous background exam to join the Michigan Bar Association, but the board decided that his past should not determine his future.
So, 43-year-old Martell returned to court to become a lawyer.
That is the power of mentoring.