Trump pardons Alice Johnson, two years after commutation

  • President Donald Trump on Friday pardoned Alice Marie Johnson, the 63-year-old grandmother who was serving a life sentence for non-violent drug offenses. 
  • Trump granted Johnson clemency in 2018, with the help of Kim Kardashian West who championed for her early release from Aliceville correctional facility in Alabama.  
  • Johnson spoke at the Republican National Convention praising her freedom, “by the grace of God and the compassion of President Donald John Trump.”
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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump pardoned a woman on Friday who had praised him the night before at the Republican National Convention.

Trump pardoned Alice Marie Johnson, who had spent more than two decades serving life without parole for a nonviolent drug offense. She had been convicted in 1996 on eight criminal counts related to a Memphis-based cocaine trafficking operation.

Trump had commuted her life sentence in federal prison in 2018, with the backing of Kim Kardashian West, which allowed her early release.

“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,” the White House said in a 2018 statement. 

Unlike a pardon, the commutation did not erase Johnson’s conviction — it only ended her sentence.

Since her release, Johnson has used her platform to help other non-violent offenders to get released from prison — helping three of her friends receive clemency earlier this year. 

 

Trump said Johnson had done an “incredible job” since her release, identifying additional prisoners who could be eligible for early release. “We’re giving Alice a full pardon,” Trump said on Friday. 

“We’re very proud of Alice,” he added

Johnson had spoken at the convention about the power of redemption and praised Trump. Trump has sought to highlight criminal justice reform leading up to November’s election as he reaches out to African American voters.

She said Thursday that she was free “by the grace of God and the compassion of President Donald John Trump.”

Business Insider’s Taylor contributed to this reporting. 

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