A few weeks a go there was an article in the paper about Governor Hutchinson’s intent to grant a pardon for felony crimes committed by a certain Joshua Karns of Batesville Ark.

Since then, I have had several inquiries as to whether or not that was the same Joshua Karns that they know (namely me). Considering the large number of people who have asked, I decided it would be best to just save time and answer on the pubic platform from which the question first arose.

So, if the Joshua Karns you know is the same one that works for Wade’s, that drives the only bus yellow, long wheel base, crew cab RAM truck this side of the Mississippi, and that UACCB used as their poster child for success in their electronics technology program (billboard in Pleasant Plains), then the answer is yes — and no.

Yes, we have the same social security number, the same heartbeat, and the same DNA. We share the same memories, the same childhood, and, in this life, the same consequences of actions. But that is where the similarities end.

You see, that Joshua Karns, the felon, the rebel, the prodigal, is gone. He died 19 years ago (nearly to the day). It was an untimely death in that it should have happened much sooner, but due to free will and much stubbornness, he hung on a lot longer than he should have. Anyway, he finally did come to the end of himself, to the end of his will, and surrendered his life Jesus Christ.

And then, the Lord pardoned me!

I got a clean slate, a new start, and a new name. I was forgiven for my past, and given a passport to a great future that cannot expire. I have also been given time on this earth to start again, to do better, to make better decisions, and hopefully to be a better person and example of God’s great mercy. So there you have it, the same but different.

As a footnote, to any of those people that know me now and may doubt the sincerity of these words, please be patient. I’m still a work in progress.

Joshua Karns

Batesville, Ark.

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