A new chapter for John Forbes
Last week, John Forbes walked out of Federal Court in Boston.
Federal Judge Richard Stearns chose to give Forbes the second chance he was looking for and which he worked so hard to earn during the past year.
Judge Stearns could have sent Forbes away for five years. But after studying everything everyone had to say about Forbes and his commitment to change his life – and that in fact Forbes had already changed his life – the judge chose to use the mercy of the court rather than to put a good man away.
Now John Forbes has a chance to show everyone in this community who stood by his side during this difficult time in his life that he is worth the effort.
The Forbes family is one of the best known and most highly respected in East Boston.
Coming from that family and doing what he did made life difficult for the Forbes family.
The family showed its love and loyalty to John by being there for him every step of the way.
This is the type of thing Judge Stearns paid close attention to.
After all, when you have fallen and your family has deserted you, you are alone. You are nothing.
John’s problems strengthened this East Boston family.
This, and reports from probation officers and drug councilors and psychologists who all reported that John Forbes was a changed man and that he was seeking redemption and that he would likely work as a drug councilor in the years to come sent a powerful message to Judge Stearns.
In the final analysis, Judge Stearns made the decision to give Forbes another chance because he appears to be the type of decent person who came to understand his shortcomings and his mistakes and who has resolved to clean the slate and to start over with a clean one.
When John Forbes walked out of Federal Court last week, he came to understand something about mercy and what it means literally to be given the benefit of doubt and a second chance.
Everyone in this neighborhood who has know John Forbes for a lifetime is rooting for him and nearly everyone is excited and pleased that Judge Stearns did what he did.
Now it is entirely up to John Forbes to prove to everyone who wrote letters for him, who came to believe in him, who stood by his side that none of this was done in vain.
We want to believe that he will prove everyone right who advocated for him.
What a wonderful outcome to this story that would be.