MILWAUKEE — Tuesday marked a new beginning for one Milwaukee woman.
Once convicted of a minor drug offense at 17, Marcie Gibson is now pardoned by Governor Tony Evers at age 41.
“It’s still unreal, it's still unreal,” Gibson said.
Gibson said she is still in awe as she look at what was in her hands - an official pardon from Evers.
“I read it. My heart just dropped. I couldn’t believe it,” Gibson said.
Gibson was convicted for a minor drug offense at 17. It came shortly after losing her mother. Gibson turned to selling drugs to help keep her apartment. One sale was to an undercover officer.
“It was just crazy I had to do that at 17,” she recalled.
She was convicted and was set for sentencing in 1998. By then, though, she learned she was pregnant with her first son.
“I decided to go to every court day except for the sentencing date,” Gibson recalled. “I was scared they were going to take my son and that was all I had.”
Fearing for her son, she never went back to court.
“I was on the run for six and a half years. Believe it or not,” she said.
Eventually she was caught after making contact with police. She would later be sentenced to a year in prison plus five-years of probation. The difference now is that she had a a six-year-old son.
“Yeah, that was horrible. That was my first time ever away from him,” Gibson said.
More than two decades since that arrest, Gibson, a single mom, now raises three boys in a stable home. She’s also an entrepreneur, running her own daycare and at a time, running two.
With this pardon, one she got after three attempts, she's hoping for an even brighter future in years to come.
“You don’t want to be judged by something you did as a teenager. It’s been 24, 25 years,” she said. “I deserved it. I have not done anything since. I’ve been in school. Got all type of degrees. I’m glad I took out the time to do it.”
Gibson’s pardon is one of 30 pardons announced Tuesday. It brings Evers' pardon total to 337 since taking office. The Evers administration says it is the most by any governor in contemporary history.