June 18, 2018

Alice Marie Johnson Speaks Out After Getting Sentence Commuted

08 June 2018, 08:21 | Taylor George

Trump commutes life sentence of grandmother after Kim Kardashian meeting

Donald Trump grants clemency to Alice Johnson a woman Kim Kardashian has been advocating for since 2017

The White House has recently assembled the pardoning paperwork for at least 30 people, with Johnson, a 63-year-old woman who has spent more than two decades behind bars for a first-time nonviolent drug offense, among those on the shortlist, some global media outlets reported. Trump is now considering almost a dozen appeals for clemency on top of the five formal pardons he has issued so far, White House officials tell ABC News.

Kardashian said she had been involved in the effort to free Johnson for seven months, ever since reading about her case on Twitter.

Johnson has served nearly 22 years in prison as part of a life sentence for a non-violent drug offense.

Her mother was sentenced to life in prison in 1996 after aiding in communications for a cocaine trafficking operation.

Jones asked Kardashian about some celebrities' unwillingness to visit the Trump White House and the possibility that she was being used as a pawn for political game.

- Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) May 27, 2018 Well, we just hope the wheels haven't fallen off already, cause it seems she kind of threw him under the bus. It was a sign, the right day to make her plea, Kardashian thought.

Some supporters of President Trump have concluded that his decision to pardon Alice Johnson is rooted in a larger concern about how the criminal justice system affects people of color.

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Johnson, who says she was denied clemency by President Barack Obama in 2016, told CBS's "This Morning", "I would tell President Trump thank you so much".

Kardashian said she "felt this connection" to Johnson when she learned about her story. You never gave up your fight. Trump signed a commutation one week later.

"When Kim told me that I was being released, I started jumping up and screaming and crying and everyone else was crying", Johnson recalled. "What could he really use me for?" she told Jones.

Kardashian West joined what has been a long-running campaign for Johnson's freedom, spearheaded by the clemency foundation CAN-DO, friends and family.

Happy that her prison time is over, Johnson noted that she feels she has more than paid her debt to society but she's "not bitter about it". "I want to take this chance to try to magnify what has happened with me so that people will remember there are other people just like me who are first time, non-violent offenders who pose no safety risk to their communities".

However, after divorcing her husband in 1989, she lost her job of 10 years at the FedEx Corporation because of a gambling addiction a year later.

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