Donald Trump sitting in front of a curtain: President Donald Trump displays Alice Johnson’s full pardon in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., on August 28, 2020.
© NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images President Donald Trump displays Alice Johnson’s full pardon in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., on August 28, 2020.
President Donald Trump on Friday gave a full pardon to Alice Johnson, a 65-year-old woman who was serving a life sentence for drug-trafficking charges before the president commuted her sentence more than two years ago.
News of her pardon came less than 24 hours after Johnson spoke of Trump’s intervention in her case in a speech she delivered at the 2020 Republican National Convention. Trump formally accepted the party’s nomination later Thursday night.
“We’re giving Alice a full pardon,” Trump told reporters Friday. “That means you can do whatever you want in life, and just keep doing the great job you do,” he told Johnson.
Trump told reporters that Johnson has alerted his administration since her release to other prisoners who were also given long sentences for nonviolent crimes, as she was.
“There’s only one Alice, as far as I’m concerned, but how many people are like you or your circumstance who was given this massive sentence and they’re good people, great people? And she said, ‘So many,'” Trump said.
Reality TV star Kim Kardashian became an advocate for Johnson and met with Trump in 2018 to discuss her case. When the White House announced Trump’s decision to commute her federal sentence in June 2018—nearly 22 years into her life sentence—officials described her as a “model prisoner” who “accepted responsibility for her past behavior.”
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“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 when Johnson’s commutation was announced.
In a news release announcing the convention’s final night of speakers, Trump’s campaign described Johnson as a “criminal justice reform advocate” who is “a major supporter of President Trump’s criminal justice reform legislation.”
Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.
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