Kim Kardashian West lobbied to commute Alice Marie Johnson’s cruel sentence. Now she’s out.
President Trump just announced he is commuting the sentence of 63-year-old Alice Marie Johnson, who has been jailed over 20 years on her first non-violent drug offense, following his Oval Office meeting with Kim Kardashian West. The presidential meeting and pardon received much coverage and criticism online.
Kim Kardashian West involved herself with Johnson’s case after she saw a Mic video on her story last October. She then requested her team of attorneys develop a legal petition seeking clemency for Johnson. Kardashian-West directly met with Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner last Wednesday at the White House to discuss prison reform and Johnson’s commutation after weeks of phone conversations.
She was later released. Johnson says, “I have a lot of catching up to do with my family. I can’t wait to get back on the workforce and get back to my community.”
Quentin Smith, a local journalist from WCBI news channel, shared a video of Johnson’s release.
Alice Marie Johnson is emotional and greeted by dozens of family members as they see her for the first time since she’s been free. Johnson says she’s thankful for this second chance and is ready to get back home and spend time with her family @WCBINEWS pic.twitter.com/oMyqrmaQi4
— Quentin Smith WCBI (@Q_Smith_) June 6, 2018
— Kendall Ciesemier (@kciesemier) June 7, 2018
Kardashian later shared on Twitter that she hopes “to continue this important work by working together with organizations who have been fighting this fight for much longer than I have and deserve the recognition.”
I hope to continue this important work by working together with organizations who have been fighting this fight for much longer than I have and deserve the recognition.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 6, 2018
Kardashian and Trump received much criticism when the meeting was announced. Many commented on the “absurd” nature of two wealthy, white reality television stars meeting and discussing prison reform to decide what should happen to a Black grandmother.
CNN’s Jim Acosta said on air last Wednesday, “Forget about the fact that Kim Kardashian is here at the White House today and what planet that is anything resembling normal, because it’s not. She shouldn’t be here talking prison reform. It’s very nice that she is here, but that’s not a serious thing to have happened here at the White House.”
The New York Post had shared the following cover.
— New York Post (@nypost) May 30, 2018
Kardashian had told Mic, “I think that [Trump] really spent the time to listen to our case that we were making for Alice. He really understood and I am very hopeful that this will turn out really positively, I hope.”
While many are now applauding Kardashian for her efforts, some reminded that a president who still insists people with drug offenses like Johnson’s be executed granting pardons only as political favors to his wealthy friends sets a terrible precedent, and does not at all challenge the underlying problem Trump still supports.