Ronald Pursley

Ronald Pursley, 63, is not only a heart attack survivor, but he has serious, lingering cardiovascular issues including congestive heart failure and hypertension. Ronald also lost sight in his right eye in March of last year and also battles a host of other painful, urinary tract issues. His serious conditions generate great pain daily as well as deepen his chronic fatigue.

He has nearly finished his sentence — he is scheduled for release from the Lansing Correctional Facility in October.

Ronald has been screened for the work release program at the Winfield Correctional Facility, a demonstration he says, of the Kansas Department of Correction’s confidence in him. He has worked in the kitchen at Lansing and participated in the Brothers in Blue and men’s choir programs.

Ronald thinks of his health, his work release and facility volunteer work, and his 2016, non-violent drug crime, and he considers himself the perfect, early release candidate.

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If released, Ronald said in his clemency application that he also would “like to finish my Associate’s Degree by taking online college classes. I am eager to reenter society so I can support my family and be present for my children’s and grandchildren’s milestones.”

“I am eager to reenter society so I can support my family…”

He will rely on family support. His multiple and serious medical conditions require the kind of specialized medical attention that are simply unavailable at Lansing. Despite his worsening condition, for example, he has not seen a cardiologist. He also has an umbilical hernia, bladder and testicular pain, and MRSA.

If released, Ronald plans to live with his daughter in Kansas City, MO., where his eight children and two sisters also live.

His continued incarceration raises more questions than his imprisonment ever answered.

Our prison system tacitly withholds care for this very sick person who likely should not have been incarcerated for his non-violent drug offense anyway.

If Ronald isn’t a candidate for early release, who would be?