President Trump commutes sentence of Alice Johnson
08 June, 2018, 02:23 | Author: Angelina Schmidt
Johnson said she heard her name called over the intercom for her to report to her case manager when she heard Kardashian West's voice.
In a statement on the commutation of her sentence, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Johnson "has been a model prisoner over the past two decades".
It was Kardashian West who informed Johnson of the president's decision, said Shawn Holley, a Kardashian lawyer who helped advocate for clemency. "We are optimistic about Ms. Johnson's future and hopeful that she - and so many like her - will get a second chance at life". Trump has called for getting tougher on drug dealers, including suggesting some should receive the death penalty.
She was convicted for facilitating communications in a cocaine trafficking operation in Memphis, Tennessee and was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Video footage of Johnson leaving prison shows her running across the street and jumping into her family's arms. She was sentenced to life in prison. Court records show she had a motion pending for a reduction in her sentence, but prosecutors were opposed, saying the sentence was in accord with federal guidelines based on the large quantity of drugs involved. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Memphis did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday afternoon.
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A criminal justice advocacy site, CAN-DO, and one of Johnson's lawyers said a request for clemency was rejected when Barack Obama was president. The reasons are unclear.
"I always had hope she'd be released, but I didn't know that today when I woke up this morning today was the day", she said.
"What is the objective 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.
Indeed, the wife of former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his Russian Federation contacts, appeared on Fox News this week to lobby her husband's case. "Thank you", Johnson said.
"Judge Mays I'm writing to you to express my deep remorse for the crime that I committed over 20 years ago". "He takes them seriously because they impact people's lives".
In a hand-scrawled letter last June she wrote: "I'm a broken woman".
Trump has signaled he's prepared to pardon many more prisoners he believes have been treated unfairly.
It was only last Wednesday Kim met with the Prez at the White House to discuss prison reform and afterwards she shared a photo of the two of them in the Oval Office.
Unlike a pardon, the commutation will not erase Johnson's conviction, only end her sentence.
She says that once Johnson's family joined the call, "the tears never stopped flowing". He pardoned right-wing pundit Dinesh D'Souza and pardoned former Sheriff Joe Arpaio. And he granted a posthumous pardon to boxing's first black heavyweight champion, a case championed by actor Sylvester Stallone. "I'd like to tell President Trump that I am so grateful for everything that you've done for me and my family", she said. He says he's considering a long list of other clemency actions for those famous and not, including former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is serving 14 years in prison for corruption, and celebrity homemaker Martha Stewart, who served about five months on charges connected to an insider trading case. The federal prosecutor who oversaw Stewart's case in NY was James Comey, one of Trump's principal antagonists, and the man he fired as FBI director previous year.
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