Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Calling men to tell them of freedom

Yesterday was a pretty extraordinary day.

For the past two years, Ronald Blount has been calling me every Friday. Working with my clinic students, I submitted a clemency petition for him about that long ago. He was a small-time player in a crack conspiracy a long time ago; his involvement was driven by his addiction to crack. No one would ever reasonably call him a kingpin, but he received a sentence of life in prison.

When he called, we talked about all sorts of things-- family, sports, cooking.  Mostly, though, we talked about clemency. Sometimes I feared that I was giving him false hope.

A few months ago, I had the chance to visit him in prison. Before I left, he leaned over the table and we prayed together.

Yesterday, I got to call him. I was calling to tell him that President Obama had granted him clemency, and that he will be home right about Christmas time.  He was just one of three of our clients at St. Thomas who got clemency yesterday. In all, six of our clients now have been either granted clemency or released. I got talk about it a little on NPR yesterday.

God is good. Ronald Blount said that on the phone yesterday, but I already knew.

Bravo! That's wonderful. Great NPR story, too.
Making progress slowly but hopefully reaching the desired end result.
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