Last week Kim Kardashian took a trip to the White House to talk to Donald Trump about granting a pardon to 63-year old Alice Johnson. Ms. Johnson has been incarcerated since 1996 on non-violent drug charges. She was serving a “life” prison sentence. I’m not certain how Kim Kardashian even heard of Ms. Johnson’s story, but to her credit, when she did, she took action. Kim used her celebrity status to broker a meeting with Jared kushner, at which time she lobbied for a meeting with Donald Trump. Kim Kardashian’s celebrity status got her a meeting with the president of The United States. Once at the meeting, Kim obviously found a way to convince Donald Trump to see things her way. Today, Trump has granted Ms. Johnson a pardon from the unfair prison sentence she was serving.
Right is right, and wrong is wrong. The “why’s” are not the story here. The story here is that a woman who was serving an unfair prison sentence will finally be released after 22 years. A “life” prison sentence for non-violent drug related charges is excessive under any circumstance. These type of prison sentences happen more often than most people realize. Pardoning Ms. Johnson was the right thing to do, regardless of why Donald Trump decided to do this. Like I said before, right is right and wrong is wrong. Prison sentences like the one Ms. Johnson was serving as a non-violent drug offender is the reason so many people have been fighting so hard for prison reform. As a person who was once caught up in the system, there is no way I can possibly spin this story to make it seem like Ms. Johnson’s pardon was a bad thing……in my eyes. There is no way I can spin this story to make it seem like what Kim Kardashian did was a bad or selfish thing, even if I wanted to.
In a recent interview, Alice Johnson told Mic.com (@mic) that she got involved in drug dealing and trafficking after going through a series of tragedies, including the death of her son in a motorcycle accident, losing her job at FedEx, and going through a divorce. Ms. Johnson also admitted to having a heavy gambling addiction.
Jared Kushner and White House Chief Of Staff, John Kelly reportedly bickered about Johnson’s pardon before Trump signed it. Kelly didn’t think Johnson was deserving of a presidential pardon. The argument was over a prison sentence commutation versus a full pardon. A commutation will get you released from your prison sentence, while a pardon has the crimes you’ve been convicted of erased and removed from your record.
Ms. Johnson’s prison sentence has been commuted. She did not receive a full pardon as reported earlier.