Trump Commutes Life Sentence for Alice Johnson After Meeting with Kim Kardashian


President Donald Trump has commuted the sentence of a woman who has spent more than two decades behind bars, thanks in large part to the urging of Kim Kardashian West.

Alice Marie Johnson, 63 and a great grandmother, was serving a life sentence in Alabama and was not eligible for parole. She was convicted in 1996 for her role in a multimillion-dollar cocaine ring.

“Today, President Donald J. Trump granted a commutation to Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old great-grandmother who has served almost 22 years in Federal prison for a first-time criminal offense,” the White House said in a statement. “Despite receiving a life sentence, Alice worked hard to rehabilitate herself in prison, and act as a mentor to her fellow inmates.”

The White House said Johnson had accepted responsibility for her crimes and was a model prisoner.

“Her Warden, Case Manager, and Vocational Training Instructor have all written letters in support of her clemency,” the statement said.

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Kardashian West visited the White House last month to meet with Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, who is overseeing the administration’s efforts to overhaul the nation’s prison system. Kardashian also met with Trump in the Oval Office to urge for Johnson’s release.

“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,” according to a statement from White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Johnson has admitted her guilt in letters she has written to U.S. District Judge Samuel H. Mays, who now oversees her case. She claims wrote that her life “began to spiral out of control” after the loss of her son and her divorce, and she turned to drugs out of desperation to support her family.

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“Judge Mays I’m writing to you to express my deep remorse for the crime that I committed over 20 years ago. I made some bad choices which have not only affected my life, but have impacted my entire family,” she said in a February 2017 letter.

In a letter last June, Johnson wrote, “I’m a broken woman. More time in prison cannot accomplish more justice.”

Memphis lawyer Michael Scholl, who filed the most recent court documents in Johnson’s request for a reduced sentence, said she was not a leader in the cocaine operation.

“What is the purpose of putting a lady with no prior criminal record, on a nonviolent drug offense, in jail for her entire life?” he said in a telephone interview. “She’s a model inmate.”

Kardashian West thanked the president and Kushner for their roles in getting Johnson’s sentence commuted.

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In a piece Johnson wrote for prior to learning of the president’s decision, Johnson said she was humbled by the outpouring of support her case has received.

“When the unlikely voices of Kim Kardashian West and Jared Kushner came together to shine a spotlight on my case, I could only thank God, for he works in mysterious ways,” Johnson said.

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Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. A native of Milwaukee, he currently resides in Phoenix.
Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. He has more than 20 years of experience in print and broadcast journalism. A native of Milwaukee, he has resided in Phoenix since 2012.
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