My Time Will Come: A Memoir of Crime, Punishment, Hope, and Redemption

May 4, 2021
My Time Will Come: A Memoir of Crime, Punishment, Hope, and Redemption

My story has been told many times and by highly regardedexperts in their fields [judges, prosecutors, juvenile probationofficers, sociologists, journalists]. But today, if you'll bearwith me, I would like to try to tell it to you myself. I havereason to believe the experts may be wrong about me. You see,today, thirty years later, I am neither in prison nor dead.--IanManuelThe United States is the only country in the world thatsentences thirteen- and fourteen-year-old offenders, mostly youthof color, to life in prison without parole, regardless of thescientifically proven singularities of the developing adolescentbrain--a heinous wrinkle in the scandal of mass incarceration. In1991, Ian Manuel, then fourteen was sentenced to life withoutparole for a non-homicide crime. In a botched mugging attempt withsome older boys, he shot Debbie Baigrie, a young white mother oftwo, in the face. But as Bryan Stevenson has insisted, none of usshould be judged by only the worst thing we have ever done.Here, capturing the fullness of his humanity, is Ian Manuel'spowerful testimony of growing up homeless in Central Park Villagein Tampa, Florida, a neighborhood riddled with poverty, gangviolence, and drug abuse--and of his efforts to rise above hiscircumstances, only to find himself, partly through his ownactions, imprisoned for two-thirds of his life, eighteen years ofwhich were spent in solitary confinement. Here is the at oncewrenching and inspiring story of how he endured the savagery of theUS prison system and of how his victim, an extraordinary woman,forgave him and bravely advocated for his freedom, achieved by acrusade on the part of the Equal Justice Initiative to address abarbarism of our judicial system, and to bring about justmercy.Full of unexpected twists and turns as it describes a struggleto attain the glory of redemption, My Time Will Come is a paean tothe capacity of the human will to transcend adversity throughdetermination and art (in Ian Manuel's case, his dedication towriting poetry).