Making the most of another chance

Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2002

I was born and raised in Juneau. I moved to Anchorage in 1998 after I got myself into some trouble. The reason I am writing this letter is because I want to thank someone, I have no clue who he is, but it regards a decision he made as a juror that has had an impact on my life.

In April of 1997 I was tried on a charge of promoting contraband. Without getting into the specifics of this case, I will just say he made the right choice because I did not, repeat did not, bring anything in that box that could be construed as contraband. This is an open letter to the man described by District Attorney Rick Svobodny as the juror who "... could not be moved by anything."

I have since moved on from my old lifestyle, and because I did not have to go to prison for an extra 3-4 years, I have my son back as opposed to him being in a foster home. I have stayed clean and sober for over four years and have since successfully petitioned to get off probation several months early. I am three semesters away from my bachelor's degree in and I work full time in an outpatient program with clients referred due to drug and or alcohol problems. So many good things have happened in my life I don't think this letter would have enough room to mention. While on trial, I did a lot of praying, as I seemed to only do when my back was against the wall, and against all odds I wasn't sentenced for a crime I did not do. Thank you, because through you, one person on a jury, I was given a chance to move on with my life and not do any more jail time for a conviction that would've held me back from many things.

Amber McConnell (Nickerson)


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