Kim Kardashian Convinced Donald Trump To Commute A 63-Year-Old Great Grandmother's Life Sentence—Here's How It Happened
In an unexpectedly fruitful meeting held last week, Kim Kardashian met with US President Donald Trump to discuss prison reform—and managed to get Alice Johnson's life sentence commuted in the process.
The history-making event's beginnings can be traced back to October 2017 when the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star chanced upon a tweet posted by mic.com, a leading digital news company dedicated to writing about pressing social issues and lending a voice to society's most underrepresented groups.
In this case, it was mic.com's focus on the story of Alice Johnson, a 63-year-old great grandmother who was imprisoned in 1996 for life for a crime related to drug trafficking, that sparked interest and concern in Kim.
This is so unfair... https://t.co/W3lPINbQuy— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) October 26, 2017
The tweet featured a three-minute long video of Alice speaking from her prison in Alabama. She was recorded recounting why she became involved in a drug conspiracy—she was dealing with a gambling addiction, had lost her job, gotten divorced, grieved the tragic death of her son, and was desperate to make ends meet.
BREAKING: President Trump has granted clemency to #AliceMarieJohnson after meeting with @KimKardashian West to talk about her case last week.— Mic (@mic) June 6, 2018
This is her story and the video that started it all: https://t.co/KzxNo3OsSg pic.twitter.com/LU2N05rIdC
But more than simply appealing to her audience's pity, Alice also made it a point to explain why she felt that she had earned the right to be granted pardon. With an exceptionally clear prison record, recommendations from guards and her vocational training coach that highlighted her accomplishments, and the acknowledgement of her wrongdoings, Alice was a cause that Kim felt was worth pursuing.
After all, Alice was a first-time offender and a non-violent criminal. To be given a life sentence plus 25 years was, to Kim and many others, an exaggeration of the punishment warranted by her crime.
And so, almost immediately after viewing the now-viral tweet, Kim exhausted her network to find a way to get through to the White House. Her calls led her to Jared Kushner, son-in-law of Donald Trump and also senior advisor to the President whose areas of responsibility include prison reform.
After an unspecified number of phone exchanges that took place in the course of seven months, Kim managed to secure a face to face meeting with the President to deliver her plea. She was accompanied by Atty. Shawn Holley who put together a legal team to represent Alice that Kim is paying for herself.
Last week, the two met in none other than the Oval office to discuss Alice's case. Considering Trump's growing record of clemencies and pardons (he has pardoned five other individuals as of late), Alice's case was thought to have a good chance of being considered.
I would like to thank President Trump for his time this afternoon. It is our hope that the President will grant clemency to Ms. Alice Marie Johnson who is serving a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug offense.— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) May 31, 2018
And as it seems, the Ladies Luck and Justice were on Kim's side and it didn't long before the President decided to commute Alice's sentence. While it was reported that Kim initially requested for a pardon (the removal of both the conviction and sentence), Trump went as far as granting a commute (the removal or reduction of only the sentence).
Judging from the yelps of relief and sobs of joy that greeted Kim in a phone call with Alice when she delivered the good news herself, a commute was more than enough to make Alice the happiest woman in the world, at that moment.
BEST NEWS EVER!!!! ???????????? https://t.co/JUbpbE1Bk0— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 6, 2018
Good luck to Alice Johnson. Have a wonderful life!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2018
Thanks to the efforts of Kim, Alice is now a free woman and has been reunited with her family. She was an inmate for more than two decades before she was freed. This marks Alice's fourth—and finally successful—attempt to be granted a commute. She had previously submitted three requests to former president Barack Obama's administration, all of which were denied.
Alice Johnson has been released from federal prison after POTUS signed an order commuting her sentence. @KimKardashian pushed for Ms. Johnson's release for months after learning of her plight on Twitter. Ms. Johnson was set to serve life in prison for a non-violent drug offense. pic.twitter.com/QcOXPH6H2R— Yashar Ali ?? (@yashar) June 6, 2018
Kim expressed her own happiness with how the situation unfolded, thanking everyone who helped her along the way. More significantly, she expressed her intentions of continuing her involvement in organizations that actively fight for their advocacies. Her famous mom and sister, Kris Jenner and Khloe Kardashian, likewise congratulated her online for her good deeds.
So grateful to @realDonaldTrump, Jared Kushner & to everyone who has showed compassion & contributed countless hours to this important moment for Ms. Alice Marie Johnson. Her commutation is inspirational & gives hope to so many others who are also deserving of a second chance.— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 6, 2018
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
Kimberly you are such a beautiful person inside and out!! I am constantly amazed by your determination! No matter what, you never let anyone else dictate your life! What’s right is right! You did what was right! God bless you @KimKardashian ??— Khloé (@khloekardashian) June 6, 2018
Photos from @realDonaldTrump