June 19, 2018

Trump mulls posthumously pardoning Muhammad Ali

09 June 2018, 12:43 | Taylor George

Trump may pardon deceased boxing great Muhammad Ali

Trump floats possibility of pardoning Muhammad Ali

Trump said on Friday he is considering pardoning some 3,000 people, including late boxing champion Muhammad Ali, whose conviction for refusing to join the USA military during the Vietnam War was later vacated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

It's one of "thousands" of cases the president's team is reviewing, he told reporters as he left the White House en route to a world leaders' summit in Canada.

President George W. Bush (R) presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civil award, to boxer Muhammad Ali in the East Room of the White House 09 November 2005 in Washington, DC.

Donald Trump is on a pardoning binge, offering up clemency to everyone from Martha Stewart to Muhammad Ali.

"And some other, and some folks that have sentences that aren't fair", Trump added.

Trump has wielded his presidential pardon powers recently in ways that appear meant to dramatize his own complaints of being the victim of a "witch hunt" by USA prosecutors.

In an earlier statement, Mr. Tweel said that although he appreciated Mr. Trump's sentiment, a "pardon is unnecessary".

"The U.S Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Ali in a unanimous decision in 1971".

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And Trump recently pardoned conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza, who was convicted of a campaign finance violation. The conviction came with a five-year prison sentence and $10,000 fine. Ali, formerly known as Cassius Clay, converted to Islam in 1965 and cited his faith in refusing to register for the draft.

The US President said he was looking at a long list of names for potential pardons which included the heavyweight champion, who died in 2016.

Ron Tweel, Ali's lawyer, pointed out that Ali has no criminal record.

Ali eventually became licensed again, however, and he went on to have a storied boxing career that lasted until 1981.

Trump has been keen to exercise his power to pardon or commute sentences in recent weeks.

Trump later told reporters that he wants to try to amend his feud with athletes who kneel during the National Anthem by meeting them half-way. Ali's conviction for evading the draft was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971.

On Wednesday, he commuted the life sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old black woman who was convicted of a non-violent drug offense.

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