This post will be short and sweet. All you really care about this morning’s hearing is how it turned out.
In a ruling issued today, with time off for good behavior, Paul Henry Gingerich will be required to serve 90 days in adult prison (across the street at Pendleton adult prison in their minimum security unit), and one year in a re-entry program while in home detention in Allen County IN (Fort Wayne), and probation for 10 years after that. This is according to attorney Monica Foster, who just called and said the ruling is hard to read (and is already being misreported as 300 days), but she says: “That’s what it is.”
The sentence is a result of “Paul’s Law,” which was passed in response to Paul Henry becoming what is believed to be the youngest person in Indiana sentenced as an adult. In court, Paul Henry said: “I know I committed a truly horrible crime and I am sorry for that. I will never stop being sorry and I know sorry will never be enough,” he said.
“We won,” Monica said. I told her this was all her doing and she should get a medal, but she said Paul Henry worked hard, too. “We make a good team.”
There is a tendency to think that everything will eventually turn out happily-ever-after. Maybe there will be a brief honeymoon period after Paul Henry is allowed to return home, but I think it is more likely there will be challenges for Paul Henry as the reality sets in and he is confronted with the unpredictabilities of living life on the outside. At first he will be known to others because of his crime, but as time passes this will become more of a dissatisfier, and he will struggle to make his own way even as he is tethered to his past by the recurring reminders intruding on his opportunities by the parole process. He will have to live with the inconveniences of coping with a colostomy bag, and the certain choices and medical procedures that will entail. And then there will be the inevitable challenges of living with his mother or his father, and their expectations of him (which will be quite different). A bed of roses it will not be, probably for a long time to come.
This is the true beginning of Paul Henry’s second chance at life. It will be harder for him than anyone expects. As he will discover, his redemption will depend entirely on the work he himself does. But as his time in prison presages, he will likely be successful if he remains true to his inner compass, come what may.
Groove of the Day
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