Before his incarceration, Ronald Blount was a hard-core crack addict, the kind that cautionary tales about drugs describe. He slept on the porch of his parent¹s house, because he had nowhere else to go and they would not let him inside while he was using crack. Impoverished, he supported his habit by steering people to places they could buy crack and by helping his brother and others who were actively selling crack.
Even by the account given in the presentence investigation report, his involvement was limited to being ³present² as crack was cooked, ferrying things to his brother and customers, and steering potential customers. He had
two prior convictions for minor trafficking violations, one of which involved marijuana.
When his brother’s crack operation was infiltrated by an informant, the group was taken down. Ronald Blount was pressured to testify against his family members and refused. As a result, he was charged as a co-conspirator and enhanced through the filing of a notice under 21 U.S.C. § 851. Thus, when he was convicted he received a mandatory
sentence of life.
Ronald Blount should be freed. If sentenced under current policy and law, he would receive a sentence far shorter than the time he has already served‹his enhancement would be improper, the amount of drugs would not be charged, he would face lower guidelines, and the sentencing judge who expressed reservations at the initial sentencing would have the benefit of the Booker ruling and the discretion to vary from the guidelines that it grants.
His family has remained supportive, and are ready to help with his re-entry into society. His conduct in prison reflects the person he is today: A sober, hard-working man who is accomplishing what he can. He should return to his family and turn that productivity and perseverance to the greater world.
Ronald Blount featured in Washington Post
Ronald Blount featured in National Journal
Ronald Blount featured in Huffington Post