Yesterday, President Trump commuted the sentence of first time offender, Alice Johnson, a 63-yr-old great-grandmother who was serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for a non-violent drug offense. President Trump made the decision to commute her life sentence after meeting with Kim Kardashian, who pleaded for her release at the White House last week.
Today, an emotional, free woman, Alice Johnson, surrounded by family and loved ones, thanked “Donald John Trump” for giving her a second chance at life and the chance to live out the rest of her life surrounded by family.
“I want to, first of all, thank my Lord and Savior, thank Jesus Christ. Without Him, I can do nothing, but with Him, I can do everything! I want to thank President Donald John Trump. Hallelujuah! For giving me another chance to live and restoring me to my family. Bless Kim, our little angel! Thank you, thank you! I feel like my life is starting over again. This is a miracle day!”
Conservative British talk show host and activist, Katie Hopkins credited Kardashian for handling the Johnson situation with class and President Trump for his “brilliance”:
— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) June 7, 2018
President Trump responded to the release of Alice Johnson in a tweet, telling her “good luck” and “Have a wonderful life!”
Good luck to Alice Johnson. Have a wonderful life!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2018
Conservative Fox News business contributor, Charles V Payne says he “got chills” listening to Alice Johnson thanking President Trump and pledging to be the example that jusitifies future commutations and pardons”. Payne also suggested that Trump’s commutation of her sentence could “shine a light on rigid mandatory sentencing which limits judges.”
I got chills listening to Alice Johnson thanking President Trump and pledging to be the example that justifies future commutations and pardons. This might also shine light on rigid mandatory sentencing which limits judges.
— Charles V Payne (@cvpayne) June 7, 2018
So far, the following “black advocates” have not been heard from:
It was the video below, that Kim Kardashian happened to see on Facebook, that led her to the Oval Office, where she spoke with President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is passionate about prison reform.
Johnson told Mic that she got involved in the drug trade at a particularly bad time in her life. Her son had died in a motorcycle crash, and her marriage had ended in divorce. She also had lost her job, causing financial strain. “I couldn’t find a job fast enough to take care of my family,” she said. “I felt like a failure.”
“I missed the birth of my grandchildren, being able to be in their life. I just had a great-grandson. I missed that. Both of my parents had passed away. I was not able to be by either of their sides in their final days. That’s an ache that I can’t — that never goes away.”
— Mic (@mic) June 6, 2018
In an exclusive interview with Mic after that meeting, Kardashian West said Trump “really spent the time to listen to our case that we were making for Alice. He really understood, and I am very hopeful that this will turn out really positively.”
Kardashian West initially became involved in Johnson’s case in October when she saw a Mic Opinion video featuring Johnson sharing her story from prison.
“I saw your video,” Kardashian West told Mic. “If you think about a decision that you’ve made in your life and you get life without the possibility of parole for your first-time nonviolent offense, there’s just something so wrong with that.”
After tweeting that video, Kardashian West enlisted her personal attorney Shawn Chapman Holley to provide legal support for Johnson’s clemency petition. She has since worked behind the scenes to advocate for Johnson’s release and even received a letter in November directly from Johnson.
Mic reported in May that Kardashian West had spoken multiple times to Trump’s son-in-law and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner in recent months about Johnson’s case. Kardashian West and Kushner’s phone conversations about Johnson picked up in recent weeks, which prompted Kushner to bring Johnson’s file in front of White House attorneys, and then Trump, about a potential release.
Now Johnson will be released from prison just after celebrating her 63rd birthday and after more than 21 years behind bars.
Johnson was convicted for her role facilitating communications in a cocaine trafficking operation in Memphis, Tennessee. She was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole, plus 25 years after her co-conspirators testified against her in court.