Former Gangster Claims… “It’s a Miracle!”
I was inspired and motivated by Michal Banyard’s story published in The Los Angeles Times in February 2012. Banyard was a gangster who was convicted under the “Three Strikes Law” regarding drug use and possession in California. The Three Strikes Law ensures that criminals will get the full prosecution of the law regardless of the magnitude of crime committed. Fortunately, Judge Spencer Letts recognized that in Banyard’s case, this punishment did not fit the crime. Letts set Banyard free and remained in contact with him as a mentor supporting his recovery. But many often wonder can a gangster truly be reformed?
Banyard’s roller coaster of recovery began at the celebration of his stable employment. He relapsed on his drug of choice while celebrating and thinking that this time would be different. Sadly, this relapse led to a suicide attempt rendering him in the hospital. He reports that he was sick of living under the bondage of addiction.
Banyard entered a Christian rehabilitation program after the hospital discharge. It was in this program that Banyard’s reformation happened when he went from working on his recovery program to graduating and becoming an employee of the facility. Banyard tells the interviewer, “I don’t understand how helping others turned out to be such a great help for me, and has changed me deep down within … it’s like a miracle.”
Banyard continues to do well, staying sober and even thanks judge Letts for being a father figure, which he never had growing up. Judge Letts reports that Banyard has been one of the greatest influences in his life, trusting his gut instinct that all people have some basic goodness that just needs to be encouraged.
I believe that having a life purpose gives us direction and helps us feel like our life and efforts are not worthless. Don’t let addiction ruin your life, find recovery today. If you or a loved one is looking for Christian addiction treatment, call us at 1-866-877-6717.