President Donald Trump has granted Kim Kardashian-West’s plea to commute the life sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year old African American great-grandmother who has been in prison for the last 21 years for a first-time nonviolent drug offense. She has already been released from prison.
On Wednesday, President Trump commuted the life sentence for drug offender Alice Marie Johnson. The decision came a week after reality TV star Kim Kardashian-West met with Trump at the White House to discuss Johnson’s case and prison reform in general.
“BEST NEWS EVER!!!!” Kardashian-West was happy to share it on her Twitter after knowing Trump’s decision. She also expressed her gratitude “to everyone who has showed compassion & contributed countless hours to this important moment for Ms. Alice Marie Johnson. Her commutation is inspirational & gives hope to so many others who are also deserving of a second chance.”
In 1994, Johnson was indicted for her involvement in a cocaine trafficking operation in Memphis, Tennessee. She was given a life sentence without eligibility for parole, with an additional 25 years.
Since she started her sentence, she has shown exemplary behavior. A White House statement said that 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 statement 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.”
In December 2016, then-President Barack Obama granted clemency to 231 people but Johnson was not included, although the reasons are not stated. Now, after Kardashian-West spoke to White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and then President Trump, Johnson will be released just after her 63rd birthday and after over 21 years in prison.
Kardashian-West told Mic that she plans to get more actively involved in prison reform issues, and said, “I think it’s definitely a bigger issue that has to be addressed, and I’m glad that I’m starting with her.”