After Kim Kardashian’s Intercession, Trump Commutes Woman Sentenced for Life

June 6, 2018 Updated: October 5, 2018

President Donald Trump on June 6 commuted the life sentence of a woman who was imprisoned for drug conspiracy. TV personality Kim Kardashian West met with Trump last week to ask for clemency.

Trump commuted the life sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, 63, after taking account of her behavior as well as the 22 years she’s already spent behind bars.

“Ms. Johnson has accepted responsibility for her past behavior and has been a model prisoner over the past two decades,” the White House stated in a release. “Despite receiving a life sentence, Alice worked hard to rehabilitate herself in prison, and act as a mentor to her fellow inmates. Her Warden, Case Manager, and Vocational Training Instructor have all written letters in support of her clemency.”

According to her warden, Arcala Washington-Adduci, Johnson “exhibited outstanding and exemplary work ethic” and was “willing to go above and beyond in all work tasks.”

Johnson was sentenced in 1997 for cooperating with a group of people that were getting large shipments of cocaine from Houston and distributing them in Memphis. She used money from the criminal enterprise to buy a commercial cleaning company franchise and make a downpayment on a house. She was found guilty on five counts, including drug conspiracy and money laundering. It was her first offense.

Kardashian West learned of the woman’s story earlier this year and contacted Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, who informed her husband, Jared Kushner, according to Vanity Fair. Kushner is Trump’s senior adviser.

Kushner is working on a prison reform initiative that would provide programs teaching life skills, morals, and academics, offer drug addiction treatment, prison jobs, mentoring, and more to all federal inmates. It would also allow many nonviolent offenders with low risk of recidivism to spend the last part of their sentences in alternative detention such as home confinement, halfway houses, and community supervision.

After a few months back and forth with Kushner, the Trump-Kardashian meeting took place on May 30.

Kardashian West thanked Trump on Twitter after the meeting and said she and others were “optimistic about Ms. Johnson’s future and hopeful that she—and so many like her—will get a second chance at life.”

On June 6, it was Kardashian West who called Johnson to give her the good news.

“The phone call I just had with Alice will forever be one of my best memories. Telling her for the first time and hearing her screams while crying together is a moment I will never forget,” Kardashian West wrote on Twitter.

“So grateful to @realDonaldTrump, Jared Kushner & to everyone who has showed compassion & contributed countless hours to this important moment for Ms. Alice Marie Johnson. Her commutation is inspirational & gives hope to so many others who are also deserving of a second chance,” she added in another tweet.

The White House concluded, “While this Administration will always be very tough on crime, it believes that those who have paid their debt to society and worked hard to better themselves while in prison deserve a second chance.”

Johnson was at the top of the list of recommendations to President Barack Obama’s Clemency Project 2014 by CAN-DO, a nonprofit advocating clemency for nonviolent drug offenders.

Obama, however, denied her clemency without explanation.

Kardashian West was hoping to secure a pardon from Trump, who recently issued a rare posthumous pardon to legendary boxer Jack Johnson.

Johnson’s early 20th-century career was destroyed after he was prosecuted and imprisoned on racially motivated charges.

Boxers, historians, academics, and politicians had pushed for a pardon for Johnson for 14 years. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama never acted on the requests. Trump revealed in April that he was considering a full pardon after hearing about it from actor Sylvester Stallone.

Epoch Times reporter Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.

 

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