(CNN) – A newly sworn attorney from Michigan may not have made it to this point if a judge hadn’t given him a second chance after being caught in a drug stab.
Edward Martell was sworn in in the same Michigan courtroom he stood in 16 years earlier when he pleaded guilty of selling and manufacturing cracked cocaine.
After being caught in a drug stab, the 27-year-old thought he was facing 20 years in prison. Instead, he got three years probation and one of the most important lessons of his life.
Judge Bruce Morrow, who led his case, told Martell he was great and called on him to become CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
“It struck me immediately that Morrow was a unique guy,” Martell told CNN. “I went into his courtroom and watched him and realized that he was treating the defendants like real people.”
As he leaves the building, Martell says he is ready for a change. He then became a regular visitor to Morrow’s courtroom. The two spent hours talking and learning from each other.
“I gave Ed an opportunity. Everyone deserves to be treated with a great sense of humanity and importance, ”Morrow told CNN.
Martell opens a new chapter as a criminal defense attorney with the Perkins Law Group. He and Judge Bruce Morrow hugged after the judge swore him in.(Source: Perkins Law Group via CNN)
The judge has seen Martell’s growth over the years, from enrolling in community college to receiving a full scholarship to attend law school at the University of Detroit Mercy. He passed the bar exam on the second attempt.
Now, aged 43 and father of four, Martell is starting a new chapter as a criminal defense attorney with the Perkins Law Group. He and Morrow hugged after the judge swore him in.
“I see him as my son,” Morrow told CNN. “It was like leading your daughter to the altar. It was one of those moments when I just felt so happy. My joy was for him. “
Both men say that they will carry the lessons they taught each other for the rest of their lives.
“Love changes people,” said Morrow. “That is the most important lesson we should all learn from this story.”
Copyright 2021 CNN Newsource. All rights reserved. Gray News contributed to this report.