It is with deep regret, sympathy and sadness that we must tell you that the 20 year old son of one of our members was found dead, by his parents, on the afternoon of Friday, March 19, 2004 of a drug overdose.
Justin was one of the youths charged in the, Detroit area, "Sex Diaries case" back in 2002. Part of the plea agreement, and one of the reasons for having the boys plead to "Seduction" was to keep the boys from having to register on the Sex Offender registry (SOR). February 24, 2004 Justin's Probation Officer made him sign the papers to register. After a few set backs, Justin had started taking classes at a local College and was doing very well, trying to get his life back on track… until he was forced to register. From that point it was down hill. Even though he knew his father, with the help of Citizens for Second Chances and other wonderful people, were trying to straighten out the legalities and get him OFF of the registry (a plea agreement, to the best of our knowledge, legally CANNOT be overturned without a hearing) Justin was falling deeper and deeper into a hole.
Justin's father, David, contacted me the day after Justin's death determined to make Justin's life, and death, mean something. He wants to tell Justin's story. He wants everyone to know what this registry does to the lives of young people. He wants Justin's death to make a difference for other young people.
In the coming weeks we will be working with Justin's parents to try to make a difference in other youth's lives. I can think of no better tribute to Justin than to make sure that NO other young person, due to a youthful indiscretion, has to live with the label and stigma of being a registered sex offender.
Many of us have had times when we felt our son's could potentially do the unthinkable and so Justin's death hits us VERY close to home. But for the Grace of God it could have been any one of our sons. After attending Justin's funeral service on March 24, my son called me, sobbing, and said "Mom, that could have been me!" And it could have been… there was a time when my son was really struggling with a lot of emotions and wanting to "escape".
PLEASE! Love your sons! Let them know you will always be there for them! Give them all a huge hug! Tell them that there are MANY of us who care about them and only want the best for them. Keep them close! We WILL get through this and MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Justin's life and death WILL have meaning! NO MORE YOUNG LIVES WILL BE RUINED!
An article about Justin, written by Marsha Low,
was in the Detroit Free Press on March 23, 2004.
Brian Dickerson, of the Detroit Free Press,
also wrote a column about Justin's case on March 24, 2004.
Below you will find excerpts from Justin Fawcett's Life Story. The story of a very normal, energetic, loveable child.
Please, keep David, Gayle and Derek (brother) Fawcett in your thoughts and prayers.
Keeping the faith!
Citizens for Second Chances
Justin Fawcett was a sweet, energetic and mischievous soul. He was the joy of his parents and family; a kind and talented young man who appreciated the finer things in life.
Justin was born, on October 4th, 1983 to Gayle and David Fawcett. Gayle went into labor with Justin nearly a week and a half before her expected due date. David and Gayle rushed out to the car and much to their surprise found all four tires flat. They had no choice but to drive to the hospital in David's sports car, with Gayle feeling every little bump and pothole along the way. Despite the rough roads, Gayle made it to the hospital in time to deliver little Justin.
As a young boy, Justin was very busy and curious. He had a knack for creating excitement in all sorts of situations, which wasn't always a good thing. He loved to hover around David, while David was busy working on things, and he would take tools or parts from the project and purposefully misplace them. By the age of 4, Justin expressed interest in the piano and began taking lessons. He attended Lone Pine Elementary school where he was a remarkable student. Teachers would continually rave about his intelligence and enthusiasm whenever given the chance. Justin had quite a talent for the keys and Gayle's favorite memory of Justin was when he joined his big brother Derek in a piano duet for Derek's senior recital.
Justin enjoyed many activities with his family. He did all sorts of things with his father and always brought his mom along for museums and field trips. Things were never dull with Justin around. One Fourth of July, he created quite a panic when some of his fireworks were aimed towards the family who made a run for cover. Justin loved anything that exploded, be it fireworks or even chemistry gone awry.
During his middle school years, Justin continued to play the piano, but found himself drawn to more aggressive forms of music. Justin looked to things outside of him for solace instead of looking inside. Despite the noticeable changes in Justin's attitude, he still had a good heart.
He attended Andover High School in Bloomfield Hills where he volunteered with kids in the special education department. Justin showed immense kindness and was always very helpful with these special people. He graduated in 2001 and moved on to Oakland University.
Justin's friends and family did all they could to help Justin and to support Gayle and Dave, especially when things got really tough. Deep down, Justin had a good heart and loved his family very much.
Justin was a talented and kind-hearted individual who tried hard to be the best person he could. He will be greatly missed.