43 Years in prison with nothing suspended– That’s the sentence I received in January 2006. As a first time offender, my first thought was that I would be spending the rest of my life in prison. I’m sure that’s how many inmates feel when they receive such a lengthy sentence. It can be overwhelming and even bring out suicidal thoughts in some. So now almost 14 years later, how have I managed to find peace in prison?
To be honest, I really struggled for the first few years. In the first year, without my income, my wife and kids lost our home to foreclosure. A few months later, while coming to visit me, they were involved in a major car accident in which my daughter suffered some serious injuries. The following year, my wife Melissa died from stomach cancer, leaving our children alone. Personally, I felt lost physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I know that I had sinned by taking another man’s life and that I deserved to be punished for that, but I questioned why God would let all this bad stuff happen to my family.
Initially I poured all my efforts into studying case law in the law library. I knew I had strong claims for Ineffective Assistance of Counsel, so I wanted to learn everything I could to win a Habeas Corpus Petition. Also, it helped me keep my sanity. I felt confident that I would win, but it didn’t happen. I was devastated, but even more so was the disappointment that my children had when I told them. By 2013, I had exhausted all my legal remedies for getting back in court.
I started going to church, occasionally, but I wasn’t particularly dedicated at the time. I had doubts as to whether God even existed. I wanted to believe and even begged for God to forgive me and to help me. At the time, I didn’t recognize that God was there all along, I just couldn’t see the good things he was doing. I was too blinded by my problems.
When I was transferred to Nottoway Correctional Center, several things started happening in my life. Some might call it coincidence, but I started to recognize it had to be God’s doing, it was just way too much to be coincidence. Additionally, my son was able to hire a new lawyer to investigate my case, discover new information and file a clemency petition on my behalf. It was the first time I truly felt that God was working in my life. I started regularly attending church every Thursday & Sunday and doing Bible studies with other believers in my pod, in order to learn more. I have found that it has now brought peace into my life even in my current situation. Now I KNOW that God exists and I have faith that God has me on the path he wants for my life. It might not be the path I thought I would be on, but I still have hope that it will lead to my freedom outside of prison one day hopefully soon, if it’s God’s will. If released, I hope to be able to help others to find peace as well. For now I am free in my heart and mind.
Thank you for reading & for those who have supported, signed, and continue to share my online petition on change.org
Categories: Robert Rambo