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Trump Commutes Sentence of Alice Marie Johnson Thanks To Kim Kardashian

Alice Johnson is a 63-year-old great-grandmother who received a life sentence in 1996 for her leading role in a cocaine trafficking ring. By all accounts, Johnson has successfully been rehabilitated, and sentencing a first-time, nonviolent offender for a drug crime is the kind of policy that has led the federal prison system to explode. Pardoning her was the right call.

(CNN) President Donald Trump has commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a first-time nonviolent drug offender, a week after Kim Kardashian West pleaded her case during an Oval Office meeting with Trump.

Johnson has already served 21 years of a life sentence after she was convicted on charges of conspiracy to possess cocaine and attempted possession of cocaine, according to the nonprofit Can-Do, which advocates for clemency for non-violent drug offenders. She is expected to be released from prison soon.
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“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 statement Wednesday afternoon. 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 added.
Kardashian West hailed the commutation, tweeting, “BEST NEWS EVER!!!!” and expressing gratitude to Trump and senior adviser Jared Kushner.
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“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,” Kardashian West said in a statement after meeting with Trump. “We are optimistic about Ms. Johnson’s future and hopeful that she and so many like her will get a second chance at life.”
President Barack Obama did not intervene in the case during his eight years in office because the Justice Department recommended denying Johnson’s request for a commutation. Three requests were made one during his first term, two during his second that were rejected, including a final plea on January 6, 2017, only days before Obama left office.
The requests never reached Obama’s desk, a senior Obama administration official tells CNN, because he followed Justice Department recommendations. The official said the Justice Department denied her petition because prosecutors maintain Johnson was involved in a drug cartel that was connected to violence and crime.
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