President Donald Trump on Wednesday granted clemency to five people convicted of drug and financial crimes, all of them cases that were pushed by prison reform advocate Alice Johnson.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Wednesday in a statement that Trump was granting the clemencies “in light of the decisions these individuals have made following their convictions to improve their lives and the lives of others while incarcerated.”
Trump has granted pardons to 27 people and clemency to 16 others since taking office.
In an interview, Johnson said that she spoke to White House officials about the five individuals and others during a White House visit last month.
“I’m extremely thankful these clemencies were granted,” said Johnson, whose life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense was commuted in 2018 by Trump.
“To see this dream realized, I can’t even describe it.”
The @realDonaldTrump administration just granted clemency to 5 incredibly deserving people.
They all have served their time and have learned from their mistakes.
Enjoy Freedom. God bless you all. ❤️
— Alice Marie Johnson (@AliceMarieFree) October 21, 2020
Johnson, who praised Trump during the Republican National Convention, received a full pardon from Trump in August and has been advocating for clemency for several men and women she said ”have served their time and have learned from their mistakes.”
Among those receiving clemency:
— Lenora Logan, who spent about 20 years in prison for her role in a cocaine conspiracy. During her time in prison, Logan served as a suicide watch companion, a nursing assistant for fellow prisoners in hospice care, and a leader of the praise and worship team. She was also credited with coming to the aid of a prison nurse under assault by an unstable inmate, according to the White House.
— Rashella Reed, a former Atlanta public school teacher who spent six years in prison for wire fraud and money laundering. Reed used her teaching background to tutor inmates and advance children’s programs while incarcerated.
— Charles Tanner, a former professional boxer, who had served 16 years of a 30 year prison sentence, for his part in a drug conspiracy. Tanner, who initially faced a life sentence, took part in educational courses and completed hundreds of hours of educational programming. He was also part of an 18-month re-entry program that requires recommendation from staff and approval from the prison warden for participation.
— John Bolen, a small business owner who used his boat to transport cocaine from the Bahamas to Florida and was more than 13 years into a life sentence. The White House said Bolen was described by prison officials as a “model inmate.” He completed more than 1,300 hours of educational programming and vocational training, multiple re-entry programs, and has served as a suicide companion and a mental health companion.
— Curtis McDonald, a co-conspirator of Johnson’s in a Memphis drug ring. McDonald was about 24 years into a life sentence for drug trafficking and money laundering. McDonald maintained employment during his time incarcerated and completed several education courses. McDonald has also served in the Mentors for Life program.
“He made a mistake, a bad mistake like I did, but it should not be a life sentence,” Johnson tweeted earlier this month about McDonald’s case.
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