Haven't we all experienced that moment where one mistake that we think is relatively harmless, balloons into something much more serious? While most of us have experienced this feeling, and for some, this seemingly innocuous choice becomes no longer controllable, only reaching an end until the breaking point.
That is what happened in the story of a young man, Christopher B., who was convicted at the age of 22 and was sentenced to 262 months for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and with possession with intent to distribute the drug.
The Snowball Effect
Christopher B. came from a wholesome, all-American family who took vacations every summer and had been brought up in a stable and supportive family. He became involved with the rave scene and become working as a promotor for EDM (electronic dance music) artists who would tour the rave circuits. During that time, he developed an addiction to drugs, stating he needed at least a "quarter-gram" of meth a day in order to function. He began fueling his habit further through sales of drugs.
Christopher had been charged with possession of drugs and other drug crimes throughout his teen years, which affected his schooling, and eventually led him to a term in juvenile detention. In 2005, police discovered over 500 grams of methamphetamine and money in his hotel room, shared between him and a friend, which they had conspired to transport under the presumption that the drugs would be sold.
Overcoming Addiction with Art
A prison sentence of over 21 years may have seemed harsh, but in the eyes of the law, Christopher B. was considered a repeat offender, or a habitual offender, which carried with it harsh punishments.
The penalties for a habitual offender of drug crimes can include:
- Felony level charges
- Steep fines
Charges made against a habitual offender are often more enhanced than a first-time offender, offering one explanation for why his sentence seemed harsh. This did not deter time in prison has given him larger perspective, though. He is now converting his energies into trying to break the habit that had blindly led him from one bad decision to the next, and is carrying this out through this through art.
Not only has he been gaining skills in the various media: painting, drawing, and creating tattoo ideas, he uses his art to transmit messages of positivity and personal acclaim. He hopes one day to be able to help others through his art once his sentence has been fully served. He is also hopeful that the laws that punish habitual offenders under the career criminal statute can be revisited and shorten the minimum imprisonment terms.
Source Link: https://famm.org/