Kim Kardashian West In Talks With White House To Pardon Life-Sentenced Drug Offender
Kim Kardashian West is bargaining with the White House to pardon a nonviolent drug offender who received a life sentence in 1996.
Kardashian West has reportedly spoken twice with President Donald Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, about obtaining a pardon for Alice Marie Johnson, Mic reported Wednesday. Johnson is a 62-year-old great-grandmother convicted of drug conspiracy and money laundering for her part in an operation transporting cocaine into Memphis, Tennessee. She was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 1996, a sentence which many, including Kardashian West and the ACLU, believe is unjust. White House lawyers are reportedly reviewing
“She’s made some serious mistakes in her life, but she is not this monster,” Johnson’s daughter Tretessa told Mic. “I mean, she’s really turned a very negative situation to as positive of a situation as she can.”
Kushner has been heavily involved in the Trump administration’s sentencing and prison reform efforts, sparring with Attorney General Jeff Sessions over how far their reforms might go. Sessions, a traditional tough-on-crime advocate, held Kushner to a stalemate in which the administration can push prison reforms and anti-recidivism efforts but sentencing reforms are off the table.
President Donald Trump called prison reform a priority in his State of the Union address, emboldening many reform advocates. Koch Industries and the Justice Action Network (JAN) lauded the president’s statement, saying there is “no more cause for delay” in pushing federal prison reform legislation through Congress. Trump’s support came after months of work from Kushner alongside Koch Industries general counsel Mark Holden and other reform advocates.
“We applaud the president for acknowledging the need to change our policies and expectations around prisons, which are failing to equip individuals to successfully return to society and succeed,” Holden said in a statement. “The president’s support for this idea is very encouraging and we look forward to continuing to work with the White House, the administration, members of Congress and states to make this vision a reality nationwide.”
Despite Trump’s statement, little progress has been made on prison reform, and the White House has yet to officially acknowledge the calls for Johnson’s pardon.
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