As the December rain pelts my window while I peaceful study math, I pause for a moment to reflect. 2020 has ran its coarse, these are my last holidays in prison. Out of the 5, 325 days I started out with, I’m down to just 208. Heck, I could hold my breath that long. I’m currently Graphing Linear Equations and Inequalities in two Variables. I am also working with Classical Propositional Logic.

In the moment I’m feeling a little baffled but centered. A gust of wind blew my papers off the bunk, this always brings a smile to my face — having a window in prison is such a blessing, however, having one that opens is blissful and refreshing. Gathering up the scattered papers I noticed one that caught my eye.

Statement of Defendant on Plea of Guilty Page 6 of 7
St. v. BYERS, MARSHALL NOLAN
PA#06F05818
3/15/2007

7. I plead guilty to the crime of Count 1 Attempted First Degree Murder, as charged in the information. I have received a copy of that information.
8. I make this plea freely and voluntarily.
9. The judge has asked me to state briefly in my own words what I did that makes me guilty of this crime. This is my statement, with intent to commit the crime of murder 1 I did an act which was a substantial step towards the commission of that crime.

What a beautiful contrast to have transformed addiction to excelling in academics. Guilt to gratitude. Shame to self-compassion, self-worth, embracing vulnerability. Anger to empathy and forgiveness.


I completely love who I’ve become, and its in these very random moments that I’m reminded by a simple piece of scratch paper. Heck yeah!

Love For Life,
Marshall Byers