In an unprecedented move, a week after meeting the reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, President Trump commuted the life sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-old grandmother who just completed 21 years in an Alabama prison. Johnson was found guilty of possessing cocaine in 1996 and was sentenced to life in prison. She was released from the prison on May 6th’ 2018, a week after Kim Kardashian West met President Trump at White House and pleaded that Johnson be given a second chance.
On learning about the news, Kim shared her happiness on Twitter and expressed her gratitude to the President, his son-in-law and aide, Jared Kushner and all others for their valuable contribution to the cause. She dubbed the decision as really inspirational and one that will give hope to many who deserve a second chance. Johnson too was extremely happy and thanked the president for giving her a second shot at life.
While announcing the commutation, the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said that the administration will continue to remain “tough on crime” but those who have already “paid their debt to society” will be permitted to go back to live a civilian’s life. Adding further, he said, “Ms. Johnson has accepted responsibility for her past behavior and has been a model prisoner over the past two decades. Despite receiving a life sentence, Alice worked hard to rehabilitate herself in prison, and act as a mentor to her fellow inmates.”
Sixth clemency issued by President Trump
Johnson’s clemency is the sixth for President Trump after taking office. Moreover, the recent one is his second on an appeal by a celebrity, the first being boxer Jack Johnson’s in May 2018, whose release was pleaded by actor Sylvester Stallone. Apart from these two, President Trump had also pardoned Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, former Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, and Kristian Saucier, a Navy sailor who pleaded guilty to an unauthorized possession of classified information and who argued he was held to a different standard than Hillary Clinton. Reportedly, Johnson’s plea was filed three times during the eight years office of President Barack Obama. But, the former President did not get involved in the case as the Department of Justice (DOJ) had suggested him to deny any request for commutation from Johnson.
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