“I know he’s bad, but he’s a good boy.” Those words spoken by the mother of a 16-year-old boy echoed through a courtroom in the Mississippi Delta as Eddie Spencer stood before the judge waiting to learn his fate. In 1979, Eddie was facing the possibility of the death penalty as one of his victims…

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“Goodwill gave me a career.” That’s something Jessica Maxwell-Flowers never dreamed possible while she was serving five years in prison at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMCF). In fact, a career was the furthest thing from her mind during those days in the deadly grips of addiction. Jessica grew up in a home where drugs and…

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Heath Ferguson is in the business of offering grace. Why? Because grace is what helped him change his life. Ferguson serves as the Chaplain and Director of Pastoral Care and Faith Relations at Mississippi Baptist Medical Center. To look at Ferguson one might not see the former drug addict who found himself crossing the border…

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“I’m a junkie. This is my life.” That’s what Mary Hirsch thought she was destined to be after spending years in and out of jail, a nine-month stay in prison, and losing everything in her life that she held dear. How could she turn her life around? There was no hope for her, she thought.…

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“I was a functioning addict.” That’s how Julie Crutcher describes herself during the early years of her struggles with addiction. “I had an addiction problem for a long time. I had my kids. I had my house. I worked and was in school, but I still used,” she said. It was in 2013 that Crutcher…

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Three strikes and he’s out. But does the punishment fit the crime? James Vardaman is serving two life sentences under Mississippi’s habitual offender law, for seven empty boxes of Sudafed. He’s an offender convicted of a crime not ordinarily considered a crime of violence but is included in the state’s habitual offender laws. Vardaman had…

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