A courtroom might seem a strange place to hold a celebration, but for Paul Rucker, it was entirely appropriate. For he had come full circle.
Rucker, 57, a former cocaine addict, stood in front of his family and friends in the Shelby County Circuit Courtroom on Friday and made a tearful, yet joyful statement.
"I am so happy today," he said, with tears streaming down his face. "Because I am free at last."
As the crowd, which included judges and court officials, burst into thunderous applause, Rucker smiled through his tears.