Timeless stories: Roy Yamamoto was freed from an 80-year prison sentence

Roy Yamamoto was facing eighty years in prison without the possibility of parole, for a series of drug related crimes. “Drugs really controlled my whole life. I became a person that, you know… I became a monster. And I didn’t care about anybody or even myself.”

 

His drug problems started when he was a boy living in Hawaii, covering the shame he felt from not being able to read. “I didn’t have the ability to do my schoolwork. I was put in Special Ed and I was so ashamed about that. I was ashamed that I couldn’t keep up with the rest of the students and I hanged around with the wrong crowd. I started to drink and smoke weed.”

He managed to graduate high school and played a year of college football in California where he was introduced to cocaine. “It took over my life. The addiction was so strong, when I got back, instead of working out and training for the next season, I started to hang around with the partying friends again. And we did the cocaine and the drugs. And what happened was, when it was my time to go back and play football, all of a sudden this career in drugs was more important.”

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