President Donald Trump on Friday granted a full pardon to Alice Marie Johnson, a criminal justice reform advocate whose life sentence Trump had previously commuted.
“You have been fully pardoned,” Trump told her, after noting he’d seen her in the audience during his RNC address from the White House lawn on Thursday. “That’s the ultimate thing that can happen. It means you can do whatever you want in life.”
“Just keep doing the great job you’re doing,” the president said, adding, “We’re very proud of Alice and the job you’ve done.”
Johnson, who was sitting at Trump’s side in the Oval Office, wiped tears from her eyes as the president handed her the pen he’d used to sign the pardon. It came less than 24 hours after Johnson told her story at the Republican National Convention — and thanked Trump for giving her a second chance.
“I pray that you will not just hear this message, but that you will be inspired by my story, and your compassion will lead you to take action for those who are forgotten,” Johnson said in her convention speech. “That’s what our president, Donald Trump did for me. And for that, I will be forever grateful. God bless you. God bless President Trump, and God bless America.”
Trump had stepped in on Johnson’s case after reality star Kim Kardashian West personally lobbied the president in an Oval Office meeting.
Johnson’s story became a viral sensation after she did an interview from the Alabama federal prison in which she was serving a life sentence without parole for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense. She had served more than 21 years behind bars on the drug conspiracy charge by the time Trump commuted her sentence in June of 2018.
Since her release, Johnson has consistently thanked Kardashian West and the president for their help, while continuing to advocate for criminal justice reform.
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