Making the most of a second chance - Republic-Times | News

Making the most of a second chance

By on June 13, 2018 at 2:30 pm

Assistant Monroe County State’s Attorney Ryan Martin

Monroe County Assistant State’s Attorney Ryan Martin recently received a pardon from Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner for felony crimes committed when he was a teenager. 

Martin learned he was one of only five people granted clemency by the governor on May 29. A total of 64 people petitioned for clemency, according to the Associated Press. 

“Ryan Martin is a guy who got a rough start, but worked hard and turned his life around,” Rauner said of the pardon. “Not only did he put himself through law school, ultimately becoming an Assistant State’s Attorney in Monroe County, but he has become an incredible force for good in his community volunteering to help turn around the lives of others.”

Martin was at work when he received a call from a Chicago number. Upon answering the phone, the caller said they were from the governor’s office and had good news.

“Right away I was shocked,” Martin said of his reaction to the news. “I never thought it would happen. I always thought you needed to know somebody or something. I didn’t really know how to react. I felt very undeserving and extremely blessed.”

When he was 17, Martin broke into his aunt’s house and robbed a corner store. He served time in prison for the offenses. 

While in prison, he earned his General Educational Development diploma. He also became a Christian and has remained one throughout his life. 

He said his faith helps put the pardon in perspective. 

“Basically what I believe is God looks at me different and looks at me that I’m not the same person I was,” Martin explained. “Just that alone means that a pardon isn’t really all that necessary. But I’m honored to receive one, for sure, and I feel extremely blessed.”

After getting out of prison, Martin earned a bachelor’s degree from Webster University in St. Louis and a law degree from Liberty University…>>> 

Read the rest of this article in the June 13, 2018, issue of the Republic-Times newspaper.

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James Moss