Kim Kardashian wants Donald Trump to pardon this incarcerated great-grandmother
She was arrested more than two decades ago for a nonviolent drug crime.
Kim Kardashian West has been talking with senior advisor and son-in-law to President Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, about the possibility of a Presidential pardon for Alice Marie Johnson, a nonviolent drug offender serving life in prison. Johnson, who’s been in prison since 1996, is now 62-years-old and a great-grandmother. She has been behind bars for 21 years in an Aliceville, Alabama prison.
According to Mic, the phone conversations between Kardashian West and Kushner have transpired over the last few months and are now beginning to get more serious. White House attorneys have already reviewed the case, says a source to Mic, who posted the video of Johnson that inspired Kardashian West to get involved. Kardashian West is being assisted by her attorney, Shawn Holley.
More than 20 years ago, Johnson acted as a middle-person in a cocaine trafficking job in Memphis. She had organized communications between other people involved in the operation.
As Johnson says on the video with Mic, she got involved in the operation after suffering a number of personal hardships that made it difficult for her to provide for her family. “I went into a complete panic and out of desperation, I made one of the worst decisions of my life to make some quick money,” she says in the video.
Johnson has told her story over Skype to universities across the country like New York University and Yale to raise awareness about the injustices of mass incarceration.
According to the ACLU, there are 3,278 other people currently serving life without parole for committing a nonviolent crime, nearly 80% of which were drug offenses like smoking cannabis.
Life without parole sentences can only be granted clemency by the president. In 2016, President Barack Obama granted 231 incarcerated individuals clemency. But while Johnson met the criteria for the pardon, she was not granted clemency.
Kushner has indicated that criminal justice reform is one of his top policy priorities. Kushner is currently working on a bipartisan bill for criminal justice reform called the Prison Reform and Redemption Act, which has 21 cosponsors.
Kardashian West hopes to leverage Kushner’s focus on criminal justice reform to get President Trump to grant Johnson clemency.