Trump Commutes Life Sentence of Alice Johnson
By: Jazzmin Ballou
President Donald Trump has decided to pardon Alice Johnson, a non-violent drug offender with no previous record. His decision was prompted by his very public meeting with Kim Kardashian at the White House a week ago in which the two celebrities discussed Johnson’s case and prison reform in general.
Alice Johnson is a 63 year old great grandmother who has served more than 20 years of her sentence. She was charged with possession of cocaine, a crime she has since taken full responsibility for. Moreso, she’s said to have been a model inmate who never caused any trouble, making her an ideal candidate for a pardoning or even an early release. In a statement regarding Kardashian’s involvement in her case, Kardashian claimed that her intentions in meeting with the president were to grant freedom for Johnson as well as “so many [others] like her”. Kardashian went into the meeting with a team of lawyers who offered facts about the case and the arguments presented.
In a statement put out by Johnson she claims that the “unlikely voices of Kim Kardashian and Jared Kushner” speaking out in her case gave her hope and that she commited her crime in the wake of a nasty divorce as well as following the loss of not only her job, but her youngest son a weight she describes as a “burden [she] could not carry”. Her rock bottom was filled with mistakes, one of which cost her 21 years of her life in federal prison.
Although not much is known about how in depth Kardashian and Trump went into prison reform in their meeting, as Kardashian is not an activist at the forefront of this conversation, it is said that her hope for the meeting was to argue Johnson’s case and go more into the possibilities of a prison reform. However, only one of those topics has gone into effect for the president since their White House meet up, as he has not mentioned much about his overall plans for prison reform as a result of his visit with Kardashian. Trump's criminal justice policy still includes harsh penalties for drug dealers, and Trump has even suggested that drug dealers should get the death penalty.
As a result of Johnson's commutation, Kardashian tweeted that it was the “best news ever” and that she planned on continuing the fight for this “important work by working together with organizations that have been fighting this fight for much longer than [she has] and deserve recognition.” This tweet seems to be addressing the many naysayers on social media who criticized Kardashians work for being out of the ordinary, considering this is not a new cause being fought for.