Former Fugees collaborator John Forte has written about his time in prison after receiving a presidential pardon from George W. Bush late last year.
Forte shared his experiences imprisoned at Fort Dix’s prison in New Jersey around 2001 up through his departure last month.
“There were two dorms in the prison, a little more than 200 men on each side–wall-to-wall bunk beds for as far as the eye could see. At 6:30 every morning, the officer on duty turned on the overhead lights,” he wrote explaining the prison’s surroundings.
He later recalled his final time at the prison.
“One by one, my old friends stopped by the bunk to wish me well and send me on my way. We hugged and exchanged quick anecdotes. The emotion was familiar to me, having said goodbye to hundreds of guys over the years. That morning, however, it was my turn to be the one walking out the door, all the while knowing that as happy as so many were for me they also wanted to be in my shoes–those flimsy blue bus shoes. (The Daily Beast)
He was eventually released from his 14 year sentence on December 22.
Fote’s lawyer, Aarti Tandon, confirmed the rapper’s release to SOHH. “Yes, John Forte was released this morning,” he said. “He looks forward to spending the holidays with his friends and family.” Pardoned by President George W. Bush late last month, Forte was free to go from a mandatory 14 year prison sentence. The Grammy winning artist has become one of the 16 people to have received a pardon or reduced sentence in the final months of the Bush Administration. (SOHH)
A Forte-supporting website and family prepared for his return home.
“December 22, 2008 – Homecoming Day,” the site reads. “John is incredibly grateful for this second chance. He is looking forward to spending time with Family and Friends and wishes everyone Happy Holidays!” (Free John Forte)
Since his release, Forte has recorded a new song titled “Life Has Just Begun.”