Donald Trump grants Kim Kardashian her wish, frees grandmother serving life on drug charges
Alice Johnson, the 63-year-old great grandmother, was sentenced to life in prison for a non-violent drug conspiracy offence
Following Kim Kardashian's recent visit to the White House, it has emerged that Donald Trump has granted clemency to 63-year-old great grandmother Alice Johnson, a non-violent drug offender who was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 1996.
Johnson's case was advocated by the 37-year-old reality star after she became closely acquainted with her trial — a non-violent drug conspiracy offence that landed the 63-year-old grandmother from Memphis, Tennessee serving a life-time imprisonment. In fact, during her meeting with the President and his senior adviser Jared Kushner, Kardashian is believed to have lobbied for a clemency for Johnson.
On Wednesday, however, following multiple reports, the White House finally confirmed that Trump has indeed commuted the sentence, despite reports of a divided cabinet stance on the issue.
“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,” an official statement issued by the White House, following news of commutation, stated.
“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 statement further mentioned.
Meanwhile, Kardashian's advocacy of the issue — she has even tweeted in the past about Johnson's sentence being "so unfair" considering it was a first-time offense — has become a talking point for prison reform advocates. In Johnson's case particularly, the incarceration took place after the 63-yr-old was convicted of drug trafficking charges.
Before that, reports suggested that the Tennessee woman endured a failed marriage and even lost her job. A reason Johnson used in her favor while arguing for the clemency, suggesting that she turned to the world of cocaine out of a sheer state of desperation.
“Before my incarceration, I had a full life. I married my childhood sweetheart and became the mother to five beautiful children. As the years went on, I became a facilitator training people on how to be managers. I was a manager at FedEx for seven years. Life for a time was good,” Johnson had said in an article for CNN.
"It was during this time that my life began to spiral out of control. I lost my job then my youngest son was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident," she added.
While Kardashian's efforts have paid off, the decision might have created a divide in Trump administration as the chief of staff John Kelly and White House counsel Donald McGahn are said to be displeased with the whole process, the Telegraph reported.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which has represented Ms Johnson in her clemency application, responded to the decision by thanking the president and Kardashian, and by urging the White House to consider more cases like Johnson’s.