NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Middle Tennessee man received his second pardon Wednesday. Robert Sherrill was one of 73 granted pardons on President Trump’s last day in office.
Sherrill grew up in the streets of North Nashville, he says selling drugs was all he knew.
“(I) kind of dropped out of school, got to running in the streets and this is where it all started. It’s where I grew up at. This is where I learned how to sell drugs at,” Sherrill explained to News 2.
He paid the price. Sherrill faced some drug charges in state court and later federal charges.
At 25-years-old, Sherrill served five years for distribution of cocaine. He was released in 2013 from prison and vowed to make a change for his family and himself with faith as his foundation.
“I’ve just built everything up since then,” he said.
Sherrill launched his own company, Imperial Cleaning Systems.
“We got 22 employees, grossing nearly a million dollars and I’m just blessed.”
His success led him to give back to the community, as he started a non-profit organization “Impact Youth Outreach.” However, Sherrill still had a felony record looming in his past.
“I had to start somewhere. I knew I wanted to not live like a second-class citizen, so I had to go through the process of getting my rights restored and things of that nature,” he explained.
In 2019, Governor Bill Haslam granted Sherrill a state pardon in the form of executive clemency.
“I ended up getting it from Governor Haslam which was surreal, but I still had a lot of more climbing to do.”
Sherrill kept climbing, asking for a federal pardon. President Donald Trump granting the request in the final act of his presidency.
“I lost it! The dog barking, the alarm in the house went off, I started screaming and yelling and crying. It was crazy,” he laughed.
Sherrill’s attorney David Raybin tells News 2 that in his 40 years of work he has never seen someone receive two pardons, leading him to believe Sherrill may be the first in Tennessee to do so.
It’s a gift from God, Sherrill said that won’t be taken for granted.
“It allows me to not walk around with that negative stigma, because no matter how successful I’ve been, I still have this stigma hanging over my head, right, and it’s been able to psychologically restore me back to being a first-class citizen as well as help me. I’m going to write more books; I’m going to travel and speak and share my experiences and hopefully help somebody and just continue to develop and help the community that’s what my passion is. I just want to give back through my non-profit through education however I can,” Sherrill explained.
Today, Sherrill walks the same streets in North Nashville, with hopes of inspiring others in the community deserving of a second chance.