Reality TV star Kim Kardashian’s meeting with President Donald Trump on May 30 has netted results. The president has commuted the life sentence of 63-year-old great-grandmother Alice Marie Johnson, signaling an end to her prison sentence.
After it was arranged by Ivanka Trump, Kardashian met with the president in the Oval Office to discuss the case of Johnson, a first-time drug offender from Tennessee who was serving a mandatory life sentence without parole and had already been jailed for more than 20 years. In general, Kardashian had reportedly been championing the cause of ending the mass incarceration of non-violent drug offenders.
Executive clemency by way of a sentence commutation means that Johnson will be released from jail soon with credit for time served, but the charges will remain on her record, unlike a pardon, which wipes the legal slate clean.
Johnson was convicted of conspiracy to possess cocaine and attempted possession of cocaine, CNN reported.
On Twitter, Kim Kardashian described President Trump’s decision as the “best news ever.” A grateful Kardashian thanked Trump, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and others who have “showed compassion and contributed countless hours to this important moment for Ms. Alice Marie Johnson.”
In a statement confirming the commutation, the White House explained why the president took the action in this case.
“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. 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.”
Several corrections department officials were in Alice Johnson’s corner, The Hill reported.
“The White House said Johnson’s warden, case manager and vocational training instructor all wrote letters supporting Johnson’s clemency and speaking to her rehabilitation while in prison.”
“Johnson is an ordained minister, a playwright, a mentor, a counselor, a tutor, and a companion for inmates who are suicidal, and she didn’t commit a single disciplinary infraction in two decades in prison,” Business Insider recalled.
Per a previous Inquisitr report, President Trump has hinted that he is considering pardoning domestic diva Martha Stewart and former Illinois Governor (and Celebrity Apprentice contestant) Rod Blagojevich, both Democrats. Trump has previously pardoned filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, ex-Bush administration aide Scooter Libby who was charged in the Valerie Plame matter, and former Navy officer Kristian Saucier. He has also commuted the sentence of meatpacking executive Sholom Rubashkin. On May 24, the POTUS issued a rare posthumous pardon to world heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson. Additional pardons may be in the pipeline.
Kardashian also mentioned that she notified Alice Marie Johnson on the phone with the news of President Trump’s clemency decision and that “telling her for the first time and hearing her screams while crying together is a moment I will never forget.” She also implied that she will continue to be an activist for sentencing reform.
President Obama turned down Johnson’s request for clemency on three occasions, Business Insider added.
Against this backdrop, the U.S. House of Representatives has already passed the First Step Act, a prison reform initiative. It is designed to prepare inmates for life outside by providing incentives for participation in job training and drug addiction programs and letting non-violent criminals complete the end of their sentence in a halfway house or under home confinement.
President Trump has indicated that he will sign the bill should it clear the Senate and thus reach his desk.
Added: Alice Johnson appeared on CBS This Morning and thanked both Kim Kardashian and President Trump.