by Daveda Gruber:
President Trump has proven that a visit to the White House to meet with him can accomplish a lot.
President Trump has commuted the life sentence for Alice Marie Johnson. After a high-profile campaign for clemency by reality television star Kim Kardashian West, Johnson is free.
Johnson, who is 63 years old, was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. She was convicted of a first-time nonviolent drug offense.
Johnson’s plight was brought to light during a meeting in the Oval Office last week. Kardashian West was originally scheduled to meet with Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. They were going to discuss prison reform. President Trump took an interest.
On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement, “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. Ms. Johnson has accepted responsibility for her past behavior and has been a model prisoner over the past two decades.”
Sanders also said, “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.”
The White House said that Johnson’s case manager and vocational training instructor have “written letters in support of her clemency,” and that Johnson has “exhibited outstanding and exemplary work ethic.”
The president commuted Johnson’s sentence. This means her punishment has been wiped out. Her conviction remains on her record. A pardon would wipe out both the punishment and the conviction.
Even though there was resistance from Chief of Staff John Kelly and White House lawyer Don McGahn, Trump made up his mind.
Kardashian West tweeted:
BEST NEWS EVER!!!! 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 https://t.co/JUbpbE1Bk0
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 6, 2018
I would like to thank President Trump for his time this afternoon. It is our hope that the President will grant clemency to Ms. Alice Marie Johnson who is serving a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug offense.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) May 31, 2018
Johnson was convicted on eight criminal counts related to a Memphis-based cocaine trafficking operation in 1996. Her involvement with cocaine dealers reportedly came about after she lost her job and her son was killed. She also got divorced and her home was foreclosed on.
Trump pardoned conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza last week. He also mentioned potentially commuting the sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and pardoning the famous homemaker and TV star Martha Stewart.
So, if the Philadelphia Eagles were interested in making a statement about anything other than not standing for the flag and the national anthem, why didn’t they try the right way? It worked for Kardashian West. Maybe football players are not very smart?