Clemency

President Donald Trump Pardons Alice Marie Johnson

Two years after commuting her life sentence, the president has pardoned Alice Marie Johnson.

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President Donald Trump has fully pardoned Alice Marie Johnson two years after commuting her sentence.

In the 1990s, Johnson was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for her non-violent involvement in a drug conspiracy. Johnson's story was featured by CAN-DO, a clemency nonprofit. It's here that reality TV star Kim Kardashian West heard of Johnson's story and became a fierce advocate for her release. After West personally met with Trump, Trump commuted Johnson's sentence in July 2018.

A commutation is but one of the clemency powers granted to the executive under Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution. A commutation shortens a person's sentence, while a pardon absolves their conviction.

Since her commutation, Johnson has used her early release to call for long-overdue criminal justice reforms. On Thursday evening, Johnson spoke at the Republican National Convention.

"What I did was wrong. I made decisions that I regret. Some say, 'You do the crime, you do the time.' However, that time should be fair and just. We all made mistakes. None of us want to be defined forever based on our worst decision," she said in a moving speech. She also reminded her audience of the thousands of offenders just like her in federal prison "who deserve the opportunity to come home."

Johnson was invited to the White House on Friday afternoon, where Trump granted her a full pardon of her conviction. White House reporter Josh Wingrove said Johnson fought back tears during a prayer:

A few days before Johnson's pardon, Trump pardoned Jon Ponder, another criminal justice reformer.

NEXT: Trump, Self-Proclaimed Ender of Endless Wars, Is Reducing the U.S. Troop Presence in Iraq to Where It Was in 2015

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  1. Worst. Racist. Ever.

    Good move and deserved, to be sure.

    1. Orangehitler and his fans are so crap at Hitlering, that the poor media has to completely invent incidents.
      So sad.

      1. “Hitlering.” I’m stealing that one.

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    2. She’s an uncle tom now.

      1. We’re supposed to embrace gender fluidity. Uncle Bruce / Aunt Caitlin, etc.

        1. Aunt Jemima more likely.

    3. Good for Trump. Once in a while he does a good thing, like he did here.

      1. well look at the little trump cultist.

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  2. This juxtaposes nicely atop of Sullum’s earlier piece. We have a president that has done more for criminal justice reform than any other in my lifetime but his rhetoric of hating on fucking looters and bomb throwers preying on small business’s is beyond the pale.

    1. Sure, but “hating on fucking looters and bomb throwers preying on small business’” is razzzist or something. How fast this would be over if he was just loving on fucking looters and bomb throwers preying on small business’ like the left?

      Or did I also now hear that Biden whimpered something about “needless” violence? Just the needless violence though… the other violence is still great.

      1. The videos from last night in d.c. keep coming out. Straka has a video of BLM protesters attacking him for being gay and a republican. 60ish year old man getting sicker punched for walking around. Lots of video of the peaceful protesters calling women sluts.

        And yet giddy posts about the peacefulness from Reasons editors.

        1. Rittenhouse just got charged on five more counts, FWIW.

          I don’t think he was indicted. Going to be expensive for him. Educational for us.

          1. the indictment reads like the prosecutor is conceding self defense. It is a weird fucking indictment.

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          2. Nah, he already has at least a couple gofundme for him, plus any 2a litigator would take the case pro Bono, if for nothing else but the publicity and easy w.
            Think the charges will ultimately be dropped.

            Wonder if they’ve arrested the thug who got his arm blown off for felony possession of a firearm and attempted murder yet…

            1. GoFundMe took down his fund raisers, of course. But I think he does have a pro bono litigator anyway. Sandmann’s lawyer, no less!

              Haven’t seen the details of the indictment.

              1. Rittenhouse has a two bodies, a handful of felony charges, plenty of witnesses, one QAnon lawyer, and a strong prospect to learn how a pudgy wannabe cop with a record of bigotry fares in prison.

                Couldn’t happen to a nicer clinger. Maybe he’ll be able to finish high school behind bars, between servitude sessions.

                1. one QAnon lawyer

                  Ha, ha, ha WTF is that?
                  I love how you guys just juxtapose words and concepts but don’t even have a clear idea of what it means.

                  1. alt-right-tourney

                2. You mean the star da witness that is on film not even near the shootings? We have the video dispute. We don’t need lying pieces of shit from blm saying what happened.

                3. A Qanon lawyer who has won several hundred million dollars from YOUR betters for Mr. Sandman

                4. I wonder if Kirkland will cry like a little bitch if Trump is re-elected or this kids charges get dropped.

                  1. The judge in Illinois has postponed the extradition request to review the video evidence at the request of the defense lawyers. The Wisconsin DA didn’t even bother to make a counterargument. Seems like he knows it’s a no winner and just wants to say he charged the kid but it was taken out of his hands. It doesn’t seem like he really wants to prosecute it.

                5. You’re a sick, authoritarian, hate-consumed bigot.

                6. BLM protestors celebrate the killing of an unarmed pro-Trump rally attendee in Portland, screaming “we got us a Trumper” l. The man was shot twice in the head execution style. This is the 14th murder by the rioters since June.
                  The pro-Trump ralliers were mostly armed earlier in the day, but surprisingly they didn’t kill anyone, however the BLM/Antifa protestors killed an unarmed man for wearing a Patriots Prayer hat after the Pro Trump rally ended.

  3. “A commutation is but one of the clemency powers granted to the executive under Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution. A commutation shortens a person’s sentence, while a pardon absolves their conviction.”

    Not to be picky, but…I’ll be picky.

    The relevant constitutional language is that the President “shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.”

    So a partial reduction of a sentence is either a reprieve or a pardon. Now, a reprieve, says Black’s Law Dictionary, is “[t]emporary postponement of the carrying out of a criminal sentence, esp. a death sentence.”

    For example, here’s President Lincoln giving a two-week stay of execution to convicted slave trader Nathanial Gordon, to give him time to get ready “for the awful change which awaits him,” with the admonishment “that, relinquishing all expectation of pardon by Human Authority, [Gordon] refer himself alone to the mercy of the Common God and Father of all men.”

    https://www.gilderlehrman.org/sites/default/files/inline-pdfs/T-00182.pdf

    So the sentence was still carried out on Gordon, he just got two extra weeks to put his soul in order.

    But in neither of his decisions re Johnson did Johnson *postpone* the carrying out of the sentence. The first time he changed the sentence to time served, the second time he gave a *full* pardon.

    Under the principle that the greater includes the less, a power to grant a full pardon suggests a power to grant a partial pardon, and Trump did both with Johnson.

    1. But in neither of his decisions re Johnson did Trump etc.

      And it should be spelled Nathaniel Gordon.

  4. You can’t fool me, racist Trump!

    1. The Democrats should have her thrown back in jail until Nov 9, 2020 when Biden can pardon her properly.

  5. I don’t really care if this is a cynical political ploy to parade in front of the cameras or not. If all presidents and governors want to start letting the innocent and over-charged offenders out of their cages just to get votes, I’m all for it. It’s a massive improvement over the opposite behavior in the 90’s.

    1. ….”innocent and over-charged offenders” …. and putting the actual guilty but let-off rioters in their place….. I’m all for it.

  6. “We all made mistakes. None of us want to be defined forever based on our worst decision”

    Of course we should. Some of us park illegally and never return library books. Some of us kill rival gang members and run billion dollar scams. If you don’t want to be defined, don’t do the crime.

    1. Some of us drug our kids up so we can have a fashionable trans kid.

      1. I wonder what the parents will do ten years from now when the kids gender identity is no longer in style but they can’t surgically alter them anymore.

        1. I’m guessing plan a trip to the Discount Rope Shop, and then pop next store to the conveniently located Rickety Stool Outlet Store.

      2. How prevalent is this?
        More or less than the COVID-19 death rate?
        With no information one way or the other, I’m will to bet you would have to search far and wide to find a single case where a parent insists or forces a child into gender re-assignment.
        Sounds like another false Republican or QAnon fear.

    2. Stop talking about me!

    3. No. We shouldn’t. Not when you put in the work and effort to change. But I guess some of us, like you, need to look down upon others to stroke our self-perceived moral superiority. Idiot.

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  9. “If you’ve been pardoned by Trump, you ain’t Black.”

  10. Biden’s crime bill put her in jail for life. Trump let her out. Trump’s the racist.

    1. it must have been staged, like the naturalization ceremony

  11. I’m glad she’s out, but “non-violent involvement in a drug conspiracy” seems unnecessarily euphemistic. Wikipedia [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Marie_Johnson] says her indictment was for her role as “leader in a multi-million dollar cocaine ring”.

    1. Obama and Biden let an entrepreneurial single mother rot in jail just for meeting her customers’ needs effectively? I knew they were against small business.

  12. I hope he and congress legalize prostitution and marijuana in his second term. Can you imagine the economic impact?

    1. Not much?
      Marijuana stores aren’t doing a tenth of the business that was expected up here in Canada.

      The only plus is that police resources aren’t being wasted.

      1. Maybe prostitution will pick up the slack?

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  14. I wonder…
    How many people has JoJo gotten freed?
    We know Biden and Kamala have done the exact opposite

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