June 6, 2018
President Donald Trump has granted clemency for Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old serving a life sentence for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense, on Wednesday.
Trump’s decision to commute Johnson’s sentence comes days after reality star Kim Kardashian spoke with the president at the White House about prison reform and sentencing. Kardashian has spent months using her platform to bring attention to Johnson’s case. She met with the president to discuss the possibility of revisiting Johnson’s sentence.
“I would like to thank President Trump for his time this afternoon,” Kardashian tweeted after her White House visit in May. “It is our hope that the President will grant clemency to Ms. Alice Marie Johnson who is serving a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug offense.”
Johnson was sentenced in 1996 for helping a multimillion-dollar cocaine ring, something Johnson said she became involved with after she lost her job and was unable to support her family. In an op-ed titled “Why Kim Kardashian Thinks I Should Be Released From Prison” for CNN, Johnson wrote that her life “began to spiral out of control” after the loss of her son and her divorce.
“I made the biggest mistake of my life to make ends meet and got involved with people selling drugs,” Johnson wrote in her CNN piece. “This was a road I never dreamed of venturing down. I became what is called a telephone mule, passing messages between the distributors and sellers. I participated in a drug conspiracy, and I was wrong.”
I would like to thank President Trump for his time this afternoon. It is our hope that the President will grant clemency to Ms. Alice Marie Johnson who is serving a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug offense.
Kardashian became aware of Johnson’s case last year after seeing Mic.com’s October video profiling the grandmother of six and the great-grandmother of one. Johnson has been in prison for more than 21 years and is not eligible for parole after being convicted in federal court,.
Kardashian said after her White House visit that she believed Johnson deserved a second chance. The reality star and businesswoman cited Johnson’s spotless record in prison and family support system as reasons why she makes a good candidate for clemency.
“I just really strongly believe that she is someone that has completely rehabilitated herself and will continue to do so outside of prison,” Kardashian in May said “You know, she’s done her time.”
Johnson applied for clemency three times under the administration of former President Barack Obama. Obama pushed for commuted sentences and pardons for drug convictions a number of times during his presidency but he didn’t approve Johnson’s requests.
Kardashian revealed a letter from Johnson on her Instagram story after the White House visit in May. Johnson wrote that the reality star was “literally helping to save my life and restore me to my family.”
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