“I Killed A Man” -YouTube Confession

This video tells the story of 22 year old Matthew Cordle, who drunkenly drove the wrong way on the highway and hit 61 year old Vincent Canzani who was killed on impact. In the video, Cordle confesses to vehicular homicide while driving under the influence and describes the incident. He explains that his lawyers have urged him to purger himself in court in hopes of a smaller sentence but he will not be a part of any more injustices and promises to tell the truth, urging people to never drink and drive, but to also take responsibility for their actions. What’s most interesting about this YouTube video is that the judge assigned to the trial not only viewed it himself, but presented it during the sentencing hearing and stated that he believed that Cordle is truly sorry for his actions. He was sentenced to six and a half years in prison, more than $1,000 in fines, and permanent revocation of his driver’s license.

Cordle contacted Because I Said I Would, which is a website dedicated to promises. The website’s purpose is to urge people to “remember the importance of your commitments and goals.” He contacted the website a month and a half after the incident to tell his story and make his promise. Since the video was posted, the website has experienced a huge increase in traffic and “promise cards.”  The site makes it very clear that they do not condone the actions made by Cordle, but hope his story can dissuade others from making the same mistake he did. It’s kind of crazy how much impact a 3 1/2 minute video can have. The fact that it was used in a court of law, not as evidence against him, but as proof of his genuine remorse for his actions, is amazing to me.