No Second Chances

In 2003, I was driving a friend and myself home after doing some drinking. About a mile from our house I wrecked the vehicle, ejecting both of us. He died five days later due to his injuries. A year and a half after the wreck I was convicted of DUI Involuntary Manslaughter and sentenced to 38 months of incarceration. Before I go into my spiel, not a day goes by that I don't wish I could not take it back. I don't seek forgiveness or feel it is deserved. I believe I got off easy compared to my friend's fate and the continuing struggles of his family. When I voice issues I have as a convicted felon in modern society, I fell guilty. I believe it to be normal.

Before, during, and following my prison commitment, I spoke in institutions, schools, and treatment facilities about the dangers of drinking and driving and, through my experience, what life is like having a death on your hands. I have totally abstained from alcohol. I have maintained honors status at a local university for three years and have done an array of other volunteer work in the community. I have been slowly rebuilding a friendship with my victim's sister, and she even requested I use her as a reference.

When I was released, life was not so bad. I was able to obtain and keep a job, buy a car, move forward in a romantic relationship, and continue with school. I became unemployed after my most recent employer relieved me of duty for NOT forging documents, documents they needed to pass their state audits. Now I cannot get a job because of my prior conviction. I had to move in with my mother, and I'm on the verge of quitting school and selling my '08 truck.

I am biased, so when I say I believe people need second chances, it is taken with some scrutiny. I wish to be regarded as the person I am now and not the one who committed that terrible crime more than eight years ago. I have taken my issues to a local congressman and the Department of Justice, but I have received no further communication. I've retained the services of many job agents and had numerous meetings with people who've wanted to help. After dozens of denials and sending hundreds of resumes, I got discouraged and began to feel sorry for myself. I try not to get depressed about it, because this may very well be what I deserve. I'm not sure of much, and it's an empty feeling. However, giving up isn't an option. I have people who depend on me. I'd like some outside views, please.
PaulM527 PaulM527
1 Response Dec 14, 2011

I am a convicted felon of second degree burglary that I committed some 28 years ago. It still comes back to haunt me all the time. I am convinced that if people want to change the current laws regarding Employers hiring ex-felons, they can. Unity and organization is the way. When Employers get hit in the pocketbook and in the courts, they will eventually change their policies, but not until they are forced to. Discrimination, whether legal or not, is still wrong, and there are ways to fight back.