16 years ago, a judge gave a young trafficker a second chance. Today he returned to court to become a lawyer


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.

16 years ago, a judge gave a young trafficker a second chance.  Today he returned to court to become a lawyer
16 years ago, a judge gave a young trafficker a second chance. Today he returned to court to become a lawyer

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.

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.

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