Book excerpt: Cell to Success by Chance L. Boyd

After being released from an 11-year sentence in federal prison, Chance L. Boyd vowed to define his own success and live life on his own terms. That led him to blazing his own entrepreneurial path, getting married, starting his own family in Central Florida, and committing to helping others.

Boyd now owns a mobile detailing company, a publishing house, and a custom apparel company. He is married to Keisha Pickett and they have a handsome son, Honor.

“This life is one that I couldn’t imagine,'' Boyd says. "God has blessed me immensely.  Success is not about money or material things. Success is a feeling and sense of self accomplishment. I am very proud and wouldn’t change any part of my journey!”

Below is an excerpt

(June 24th, 2003) “Mr. Boyd, I have seen a lot of criminals of various calibers come through my courtroom. By far, you are the most intriguing of them all. Throughout these court proceedings, I’ve tried to understand how such an intelligent young man could take such a drastic turn to a life of crime. Unlike most, you don’t have an extensive criminal history. After reading your pre-sentencing report, I find no indications of you being a hardened criminal. The deliberate effort you employed to rob a central office bank tells me one or two things about you. Either this was a sudden turn for you, and you were immediately caught, or until now, you have been able to avoid detection. My findings lead me to believe that you have been good at avoiding detection. In my opinion, that makes you all the more dangerous. Before this court sentences you, is there anything you would like to say?”

I leaned towards my attorney and whispered, “I have nothing to say.”
My good for nothing, court-appointed attorney nervously cleared his throat.
“Uh, your Honor, Mr. Boyd feels that his words won’t change the ink written in his plea agreement.” The judge evil-eyed me intensely before speaking. I just stood there staring back at him, my face void of any expression. I was a silent witness to my own fate.
All of this was a formality. I already signed my plea agreement. I knew what I had coming. I wouldn’t give this judge the satisfaction of seeing me grovel. I had no pleading speech to give. I had lost everything, but they would not take my dignity. This unjust justice system had already exposed its unforgiving ways. This courtroom was not the place where forgiveness or empathy would be provided. I learned through these court proceedings that no one in the legal system deals in emotion. Who I was as a person or how much I meant to my family didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered here was what I had done and what was written on paper.
“Mr. Boyd does not wish to address the court, your Honor.” My attorney stammered.
With an unwavering glare, the judge’s pasty, white face turned crimson red. This wouldn’t be the first time that I would see that silence speaks volumes.
“Okay, well, let’s proceed. To ensure the safety of our great society and to uphold the law, Chance Boyd, I sentence you to the high end of your sentencing guidelines due to the severity of the crime as well as the damage you and your cohorts inflicted upon the victims. Chance Boyd, you are hereby sentenced to 141 months, five years of probation, and mandatory drug treatment.”

As the judge handed down my sentence, two marshals swiftly positioned themselves at my sides. My arms were being yanked behind my back. Cold steel handcuffs clicked as they clamped tightly around my wrist. I was quickly being ushered out of the courtroom. There was no time for goodbyes or farewells, only quick glances. I was being roughly herded off like cattle. With slight resistance, I slowly passed my family. My brother-in-law, Mike, sat at my mother’s side comforting her as she cried. It would be a long time until I would see them again ... broken and defeated would not be how they would remember me. I held my head up and squared my shoulders. For those few seconds me and my mother locked eyes.
“I love you,” I mouthed. Through tear-filled eyes, Anita stared back at me.
“I love you, more.” my mother replied loudly. “You take care of yourself.” My mother understood why I was here; not saying that she condoned the paths that I chose. She knew that I did wrong for the right reasons. My actions were based on my willingness to take calculated risks, especially when it came to providing for my family. I took one final look at my dad. Feelings of shame washed over me. Not shame for me, but for him. He held the posture of an embarrassed dignitary instead of a helpless father watching his son being handed over to an unjust justice system. I realized that I represented his greatest failure, his inability to be a father to his son. I had become a statistic. The very thing he would waste precious time lecturing about was “Them Niggas,” but not realizing that “Them Niggas” raised his son. At that very moment, I understood his composed regret. No one plays a more significant role in a child’s life than a parent. No matter if it’s good, bad, or none at all. Anita, Charles, and I were face to face with the consequences of our actions or lack thereof. 

Chance L. Boyd is a lover of family, friends, and life adventures. He is known for his transparent conversation, forward-thinking, and fearless nature. Chance is a proud husband, father, son, and brother among many other endearing titles. Learn more at Power in Truth Publishing.
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