February 28, 2010
Sunday, 7:00 p.m.
Letter #124: Restoration in Progress
Greetings! “Happy Anniversary to Me!” Today is my Two-Year Anniversary of incarceration!
Before I give you my “State of the State [Prisoner] Address,” let me brief you on the cold, hard numbers. Many of you are familiar with some of these details, but a few of you may be new to them, so I’ll walk you simply through a few “Fun Facts” about my imprisonment and my “time.”
Gratefully, none of us ever has to face punishment—in this lifetime—for every wrong ever committed. No one saw you speed or run that red light; you weren’t prosecuted for staying in the theater restroom so you could catch another movie for “free.” The same is true for me.
Also, most of us have had assumptions, gross exaggerations, or outright lies said about us. This is also true for me.
Therefore—please understand me here—I am, in my own heart before God, doing time (1) for actual crimes I was charged for, (2) for things I was never charged for, and (3) not for most of my actual charges. I understand by writing this that I am making a controversial statement, but I offer no apology for stating it.
I also understand the audience to whom I am writing: you know me, love me unconditionally, pray for me, and want God’s best for me. Several close friends and family members do not receive these weekly updates, and neither do any family members of victims, because this is neither the forum nor the place for those people to be hearing from me.
This update letter system is all about bringing the Lord Jesus as much glory as possible! That being said, I was charged with eight felonies (though my record shows seven, due to one being dropped at sentencing). Due to “multiple victims” being involved, each charge became a 15 years-to-life penalty. Thus, I was facing 120 years to life.
I took a plea deal to avoid requiring any victims to ever need to testify; I was sentenced 18 years, with 15% time off possible for “good behavior.” Thus, my “Earliest Possible Release Date” is—ready for this?—May 11, 2023. 🙂
My total number of days in prison is scheduled to be 5,551. I’ve just finished 731. This leaves 4,820—or 13 years and a couple of months. I’ll be just shy of my 50th birthday on June 4, 2023, when I’m scheduled to be released. Awesome!
For any of you who would like to know all the details, most of the details, or just a couple more details about my charges or anything related—which I cannot write about—I invite you to explore several options: (1) Visit me! I’d be glad to share with you in person why I’m here (which I’ve typically done for my first-time visitors), (2) call my dad, mom, or twin bro. They will tell you anything you’d ever (or never) 🙂 want to know about the specifics of the charges, etc. Don’t feel awkward if you want to know—I’d want to know, if it was YOU in here instead of me!! Just call and say, “Hey, so tell me what Christopher’s in there for.” See? That’s not so hard, now, is it? (3) Request the official court transcripts from the County of Santa Clara, which I believe is on the court’s website, available by my last name, or my parents have a complete copy you are welcome to read. (Warning: Please don’t make me actually warn you.)
Not everything in the transcripts actually happened; much of it did: here’s where my family can sort them for you. God bless you as you each do what God leads you to do. I am grateful for God’s forgiveness, without which I could not live with myself for what I did.
So, how am I doing after two years? Hopefully the account above is one indication! I’m done pretending “I’m not that guy” and choosing to let God use me as an example of His work in a life that can be “rehabilitated.” It is only through the blood of Jesus Christ that I am no longer the man who was convicted. And, it is only through the grace of God that I can look forward to the years of transformative work needed in my life to retrain, re-equip for battle, and restore a life that sin warped. Thank you for walking with me as I face the days ahead with joy, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my Faith.