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Kim Kardashian West Asked Trump to Commute Alice Johnson's Life Sentence. He Just Did.

Leave it to Kim Kardashian West to secure freedom for a prisoner of the drug war (seriously, she's good at it).

Alice Johnson, photo via CAN-DOAlice Johnson, photo via CAN-DOAfter meeting with reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, President Donald Trump has reportedly commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, sentenced in the mid 1990s to life without the possibility of parole for her non-violent involvement in a drug conspiracy.

Johnson, 63, rose to national attention after Mic.com published a video of her speaking about her case from federal prison, where she has resided for the last 21 years due to her role in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy.

CAN-DO, a clemency nonprofit founded by former federal prisoner Amy Ralston Povah, ranked Johnson's case atop their list of female federal prisoners serving disproportionately long sentences. Former federal prosecutor-turned-clemency advocate Mark Osler also promoted Johnson's case in a recent appearance on CNN.

Kardashian West became an advocate for Johnson after seeing the website's video, according to Mic.com. In 2017, Kardashian West asked her own lawyer to work on Johnson's clemency petition, and reached out to Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and White House advisor, to discuss Johnson's case. Kardashian was able to meet with Pres. Trump at the White House in late May, where the two reportedly discussed Johnson's case and criminal justice reform.

Talking heads derided the meeting, with CNN's Jim Acosta saying, "[Kardashian West] shouldn't be here, talking about 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."

Yet this was not the first time a celebrity has played an integral role in securing a commutation, which is when a president or governor shortens a prisoner's sentence by pen stroke. Record executive Jason Flom met with Pres. Bill Clinton about clemency in the late 1990s, and those conversations ultimately resulted in 17 commutations at the end of Clinton's second term.

If past commutations are any indication, Johnson will likely experience a period of supervised release after she leaves prison.

Photo Credit: Photo via CAN-DO

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  • Get To Da Chippah||

    This was a woman of color Obama allowed to rot in jail. Get ready for some Olympic-level mental gymnastics in the MSM in order to preserve the hatred for Trump and the love for Obama.

  • Rhywun||

    Trump getting so many of the MSM apparatchiks to reveal their true colors is one of the more enjoyable aspects of his tenure.

  • some guy||

    I'm sure if Kim had gone to Obama back in 2008, he would have reached the same decision. Really it's her fault it took so long.

  • Libertymike||

    Yeah, in her vain shallowness, was preoccupied with her show, her fashions, her mother's constant craving for attention, and, don't forget, her step-dad's sexual identity crisis.

    You are right sg, if she hadn't been so selfish, she wouldn't have made Obama look bad by comparison.

  • Vin_Decks!!!||

    WHY MUST WE ALWAYS KEEP FAILING OBAMA?!?!! WHY CAN'T WE BE BETTER??!!?!?

  • ||

    Yeh. Plus the GOP should have reached across the aisle and bring it up. He was just there waiting to listen....sitting peacefully in the Church pew.

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    He was awaiting America to be worthy of his majestic glory, and once again, we all failed him.

  • Nom de Sobriquet||

    Well, the link provided seems to indicate Kardashian wasn't aware of the case until last year. I can't tell if you're being deliberately obtuse.

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    Seriously, what a bitch, right? Why does Kim hate women of color do much?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    They won't even acknowledge this happening. Or if they do it will be a very short blurb and then back to "Russians... stolen elekshun... hur derpity derpy dumb..."

  • H. Farnham||

    Well obviously this was just a publicity stunt so that Trump can enrich himself by combining "Keeping up with the Kardashians" and "The Apprentice". Something about it's going to be shown in 3-D and they'll all be playing chess; I dunno, I can't keep track anymore.

  • Citizen X||

    Say what you will about reality tv in general, but i maintain that the Golden Age of Television began with the episode of Celebrity Apprentice where Lil' Jon, Mark McGrath, and the guy from Big 'n' Rich had to keep Meat Loaf from murdering Gary Busey over some missing finger paints.

  • H. Farnham||

    I didn't watch it, but what you describe sounds like it could also have been the spark of the Libertarian Moment.

  • Citizen X||

    The second best thing about that season was the revelation that Dave Chappelle's impression of Lil' Jon was spot on.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Whhhhhhhaaaaaat!?!

    Okaaaaayyy!

  • Heraclitus||

    Wow, your thinking like a real chess player here. Did it ever occur to you that Trump is 1) practicing favoritism, and 2) playing a PR game for rubes like you? Trump has suggested that drug dealers should be executed. How does this make any sense to anyone? Is Trump suddenly in favor of reforming our drug laws and sentencing guidelines?

  • Ron||

    Trump is easily guided by the last person to talk to him.

  • SIV||

    Trump advocated legalizing ALL drugs for over 20 years.

  • Ariki||

    The power of the pussy bro.
    The power of the pussy.

  • Tony||

    Obama is from the ancient era when presidents thought that even small actions might have big repercussions for their image and had to handle things like pardons extremely delicately so as not to be seen as the black man freeing the hordes.

    Turns out you can be a fat orange assclown and still see your poll numbers go up.

  • Dallas H.||

    Keeping people of color in cages to own the republicans. Nice!

  • Siegzon||

    Hyah! Ippon! Verbal judo throw! Nice perspective flip.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Republican President George H. W. Bush pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 77 people.
    Democratic President Bill Clinton pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 459 people.
    Republican President George W. Bush pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 200 people.
    Democratic President Barack Obama pardoned 212 people and commuted the sentences of a further 1,715 people.

    Republican President Donald Trump has pardoned five people and commuted two sentences as of June 6, 2018.

    Yea. Obama is some horder of the presidential power pardon and commute sentences.

  • Tony||

    Oh, so Democrats are better on this issue along with all the others.

  • Ariki||

    Lol that either some superb trolling of some severe cognitive issues.
    Stay tuned folks!

  • Cyto||

    What we learned is that you have to get a second term to start thinking about pardons. They tend to stack them up in the last year or two of an 8 year run.

    In Obama's case we learned that having a major sentencing reform bill come through on your watch helps ease you in to issuing pardons. (one that adjusts sentences downward. That's kind of unprecedented)

  • Cynical Asshole||

    She's still a Hobbit, and her TV show is still vapid and dumb, but I take back some of the other negative things I've said about her in the past.

  • Libertymike||

    You are a good man, CA.

  • some guy||

    With this alone she's done more good in this world than a lot of people.

  • Libertymike||

    Yeah, but by your own account, she delayed her effort in order to make the dear leader look bad.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    She's definitely done more good than all the celebutards who would never in a million sully themselves by actually meeting with "Drumpf."

  • Arcxjo||

    She's also helped raise popular awareness of the Armenian Genocide than pretty much everyone else in the last 100 years.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Word.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Pretty sweet (silicone-enhanced) rack for a Hobbit.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Where is the white privilege angle here?

  • Vin_Decks!!!||

    IF Denzel or Beyonce had gone to plead with Trump he would have said no. Good enough?

  • damikesc||

    Beyonce is measures more annoying than Kardashian, for what it's worth.

    Fucking overrated hack.

  • Nom de Sobriquet||

    Hear, hear.

  • Eidde||

    Her talents look fine to me.

  • Rhywun||

    I'm sure you'll find it at The Root. We'll wait here while you check.

  • Ariki||

    this:
    "it's very nice that she is here but that's not a serious thing to have happened here at the White House"

    Translation:
    "That nice sweety, you have your little meeting while the adults solve the worlds problems"

    That's your white patriarchy angle.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If there were anything that might turn progressives in favor of the racist drug war, Trump pardoning one of it's victims would probably be it--especially if a public figure is involved . . .

    Doesn't she realize she's playing into the hands of the Putin-Trump conspiracy to defraud the country into thinking that Trump is our legitimate president?!

    P.S.

    "China offered to purchase nearly $70 billion of U.S. farm, manufacturing and energy products if the Trump administration abandons threatened tariffs, according to people briefed on the latest negotiations with American trade officials."

    ----WSJ


    http://www.wsj.com/articles/ch.....1528208835

    A question our children will never ask us: "Daddy, what did you do during the trade war that never happened"?

    There still could be a trade war, I suppose, but it still hasn't happened yet. Meanwhile, the Trump-Kim summit is what, next week?

    What will the left tell people IF IF IF China agrees to buy $70 billion worth of American goods (they weren't buying before), and North Korea capitulates on Trump's nuclear demands? No, those things haven't happened yet either, but then who's under the false impression that they have? Conversely, there are a hell of a lot of delusional people (maybe some in this thread, even) who imagine that a trade war with China started months ago--and is raging on today.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Steel and Aluminum tariffs were raised. Do they not count?

    No, I guess not, they don't fit the narrative.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Two rifle shots by one party does not make a "war".

  • Hail Rataxes||

    I'm glad you have a new line now that you can't just keep saying the tariffs haven't been enacted yet.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Those tariffs have always been there--since before I started criticizing talk about a "trade war".

    If there's been a "war" of anything, it's been a war of words--even if a real tariff showed up here and there.

    That's always been the case, and it always will be.

    Was it 2010 when North Korea sank a South Korean ship and shelled a South Korean village?

    Not much of a war, really--regardless of whether one side's military really did fire on the other.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    When does it become a trade war in your mind? Or when does it even become worthy of criticism in your mind?

  • ||

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    When a lefty libtard commie bastard does it, that's when.

  • Ken Shultz||

    When the two sides implement actual tariffs against each other.

    Again, if you can't tell the difference between threats and actions, there's nothing I can do about that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    When the two sides implement actual [escalating] tariffs against each other.

    If you don't do x, I'll do y in the future is not a policy. It's a negotiation.

    Again, if you can't tell the difference between threats and actions, go to the back of the class.

    If the media is all acting like the tariffs in question were implemented months ago--despite the fact that they weren't--then, too bad. You're expected to use your head despite what they write at WaPo, NYT, and Reason anyway. In many cases, you'd be better informed if you didn't read any of this stuff. If you believe there's an ongoing trade war because of what you've read over the last few months, then stop believing what you read. Find better sources of information.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Just as two gunshots by one party does not constitute a scuffle?

  • Bubba Jones||

    I am confused by this. Are these state companies doing the buying?

    It's not like "the US" buys stuff. Residents and companies within the US buy stuff.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Yes but Trump is not starting a trade war, he is threatening one to make our enemy the China buckle under and buy more or sell less or something.

    The fact that only people trade, the fact that trade is voluntary, the fat that there is no such thing as a trade deficit, all these facts are too inconvenient for the narrative that Trump is a master negotiator, a master dealer, and a master showman, and all will come right in the end, no matter how much markets are disrupted in the meantime, no matter how much he raises taxes on Americans (which is what tariffs are), it's all in the service of "Let's make a deal on my terms, fuck this voluntary shit:.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The question isn't whether Trump's actions are legitimately libertarian.

    The question isn't whether China's actions are legitimately libertarian.

    The question is how the left will explain their criticism of Trump's awfulness if he's successful--in the eyes of the voting public.

    IF IF IF China buys $70 billion in American products, and we give up . . . virtually nothing (except for threatened tariffs), then how will that impact the press narrative. How will the left explain North Korea giving up nukes?

    In fact, we should brush up on those arguments ourselves. I have repeatedly argued against Trump using trade policy in this way. I don't support using tariffs this way--or using tariffs at all. I've already remained steadfast in my hope that Trump is right and I'm wrong about this, and this his negotiations lead to good things for American workers and good things for American security.

    I suppose the best way for us libertarians to prepare for the possibility that Trump might be successful is to make it clear to people we talk to that we do hope Trump is successful in his gambling with the American economy. We can do that and still maintain that gambling with the economy is a bad idea--even if we win, we might have lost.

    People on the left who construct narratives all about how Trump is fundamentally incompetent will need to make up different stories. It's not like they care about free trade anyway. It's all personal to them.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    You've switched from "Not a trade war" to "not libertarian".

  • Ken Shultz||

    There's no switch.

    This was not in response to a question about whether there was a trade war.

    Do you see the comment I responded to?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I am hoping that this Trump strategy works too Ken.

  • Kazinski||

    You know they are still communists right? The US doesn't farm or raise livestock, but its farmers do.

    China as a communist country does have almost innumerable state controlled organizations that do farm and raise livestock.

  • Gary Trieste||

    I am happy for the prisoner.
    And it was an act of justice.

    I feel icky as to the very Game of Thrones, begging at the feet of Siamese King, medieval and ad hoc nature of such pardons.
    It is only through a fortuitous series of events that this woman got something approaching justice.
    I cry for all the others identically situated, who are not as lucky.

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    Exactly. All the people who are going to try to use this as some sort of "gotcha!" are wrong. This is one person who got lucky to have a celebrity take up her cause. Meanwhile, the vast majority of people in similar circumstances will continue to be fucked over by the criminal "justice" system. What's needed is serious reform, not one offs. This is basically tokenism. "Look, I helped a black woman, I'm doing more for the blacks than Obama". :eyeroll: No, you're doing exactly the same. Plus or minus a few pardons doesn't change the fact that neither one has done shit for drug war injustices.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    It's the role of the legislature to write, reform, change laws. It's not really fair to blame Trump on this one. The most he can do is take a leadership on this issue, and hopefully between this action and this being Kushner's pet project, he will do just that.

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    It's the role of the legislature to write, reform, change laws.

    Still, let's not pretend that the executive branch doesn't have *wiiiiiiiide* discretionary leeway. I mean, people here complain about that all the time but it's simply the fact on the ground of current governance and it's pointless to pretend otherwise. If Trump were sincerely interested in the kind of criminal justice reform that *would actually help black people (as opposed to one person), he could do so in an instant.

  • Eidde||

    What the President has is the power to pardon, even if that messes with Congress' precious legislative schemes.

    Kathleen Dean Moore has persuasively argued that executives have often used pardons to correct bad aspects of the system until such time as the legislature can catch up and pass a broader reform law.

  • rituviv||

    "I feel icky "

    You shouldn't. I doubt she does. It's a win, and you should celebrate it.

  • Nom de Sobriquet||

    Yeah, now that you mention it, I think Mel Brooks put something like this in History of the World Part I

  • Juice||

    Now do Ross Ulbricht.

  • Idle Hands||

    It's not going to happen. But if it were it would be glorious.

  • Libertymike||

    Ken, the Trump / Kim summit was last week. It says so in Mr. Riggs' story.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The White House and North Korea have been communicating. Presumably they've been negotiating for months.

    That isn't "The Summit" in Singapore between Trump and Kim. That's when the deals are supposed to get finalized and hopefully announced.

    It has not happened yet.

    They've been shooting for June 12 and 13 for months.

    Before the talks for a summit where off it was June 12 and 13. Now that they're back on, they're still shooting for the same dates--next week.

  • Iheartskeet||

    I see you in the white house baby

    shakin' that ass
    shakin' that ass
    shaki'n that ass

  • Libertymike||

    What will Professor Eric Michael Dyson have to say about this pardon?

    What will Professor Cornel West have to say about this pardon?

    What will Senator Corey Booker have to say about this pardon?

  • ||

    Al Sharpton. Whoopi. Fake Shaun King. Joy Reid.

    Inquiring and enlightened minds want to know!

    I know some will say....Trump is just doing this to distract from the fact he's a white supremacist.

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    I think they'll ignore the substance and focus on slut-shaming and/or belittling the intelligence of Kim K

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    Why would they say anything? It's one person, in an ocean. Tokenism doesn't mean shit, unless you're the token.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Good for Trump, and good on KKW for being the last person to talk to him about this.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Second. I don't see a downside here.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    If Kim Kardashian can get things done, why do moderate lefties need the Democratic Party.

    As people flee the Democratic Party and it becomes a party of socialists and SJWs.

  • Citizen X||

    1 unjust sentence down, only several million to go!

  • ||

    Acosta is such a dick. Honestly dude. Man up and don't be so transparently partisan. Obama was King Pop Culture for crying out loud.

  • damikesc||

    He interviewed John Legend AFTER Legend met with Obama earlier that day. Interviewed him ABOUT the meeting, to boot.

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    Obama had Snoop Dogg at the White House and appeared on that Fern show with Zack whatever. The only way this is different is that Trump actually did something praiseworthy as a result.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Good on Reason to give credit where credit is due, both to Trump and Kim K.

    Now let's see how the rest of the media responds...

  • ||

    And what will black athletes say?

    James was just out babbling about Trump.

    Honestly, I think they're driven by pure ignorance because it makes no sense to be attacking a President who has done exactly NOTHING to them except to ruffle their snowflake sensibilities.

    When did you free an innocent black person, James? Instead of railing from a afar like a coward, come forward and ask to speak to the President. I'm sure he'll grant you a meeting.

    If you don't reach out, YOU'RE part of the problem.

    Your move James.

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    I don't really give a shit what sportsballers say, and you shouldn't either.

  • ||

    You're right. But people do whether we like it or not.

    I'm pointing out James and other yappers like him are part of the problem and Kardashian just slam dunked on him. He could use his PRIVILEGED platform better. But chooses to engage in meaningless virtue signalling.

    And don't tell me what I should do I'M LIBERTARIAN!

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    I wasn't talking to people. I was talking to you when you said

    "Your move James"

  • retiredfire||

    Say what you will about the "drug war", but this lady was certainly NOT innocent.
    The drug laws are the laws and she was caught, fair and square.
    She didn't get sentenced for selling a dime bag of coke, but was the middle-man in dealings of thousands of pounds and laundering millions of dollars.
    The laws should be changed, but until they are, she was a criminal and leaders of the black community have been the ones asking for more severe punishments for drug crimes, especially the types of drugs in their communities.
    I wonder how those community leaders feel about this.
    You know? The ones asking Congress to make harsher penalties for selling of "crack" than for the dealing of "powdered" - .
    Yeah, that's how that "sentencing disparity" came about. Not because of racism, you idiots!

  • damikesc||

    Hey, I thought cocaine got you light sentences because it was a white drug while crack got you the serious hard time.

    I have been misled!

  • retiredfire||

    She was much further up the chain of distribution than that - like in the 1 to 2 thousand kilo range.

  • NoVaNick||

    I know a lot of self-proclaimed "progressives" who totally support harsh sentences and the death penalty because its a symbol of the state's ultimate power-they just dare not say it publicly because they don't want to drive away the black and brown voters.

  • ||

    I too know progressives, that when pushed to their own logical ends, accept 'if force is needed for their own good so be it'.

    This is how you get socialist-political murder cults and gulags.

    But they seem to think because they believe in 'democracy' no such thing would ever happen.

    Someone didn't buy them a connect the dot coloring book when they were kids.

  • NoVaNick||

    They only believe in democracy when their side wins. If they don't do well in the midterms here and Trump is re-elected (both big IFs at this point), you can bet they will call for its demise.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    "Virulent racist Donald Trump cynically pardons a couple of African-Americans to get a handful more of their votes."

    The above is exactly how the Bezosian/Weigelian scum in the JournoList are going to spin it. Just watch.

  • Egypt Steve||

    And your objection to this characterization is ... ??

  • Eidde||

    "Using an opportunity to display his racist white paternalism..."

  • General_Tso||

    Free hat

  • Sal Paradise||

    MAGA, of course.

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    Yeah! Hat McCullough was wrongfully persecuted!

  • Dillinger||

    Acosta projects who he knows shouldn't be there.

  • DPICM||

    What a complete asshole Jim Acosta is. Is Kardashian a U.S. Citizen? Because if so, she has a right to petition her government for a redress of grievances under the same fucking amendment that allows Jim Acosta to grace us with his constant verbal diarrhea. And I'd say asking to commute a life sentence without possibility of parole is pretty serious, and it appears she took it seriously, and got it done. I've never thought much of her, but I give credit here, and perhaps I should examine some of my preconceived notions about her.

    But, nah, maybe Jim's right. Some poor black woman should just rot in prison over a victimless crime unless one of our "intellectual" media-class gets off his ass to take up the cause. Was this fuckhead upset when Obama held a beer summit with two nobodies to discuss race relations, or is there occasional value in our ruling class deigning to speak with commoners, who are, you know, supposed to be what this country is all about?

    Seriously, why does anyone listen to this dickbag any more? Can we get this ass hat off the air?

  • retiredfire||

    Considering how far down the distribution chain her thousands of pounds of coke went, and the propensity for street dealers to shoot each other over turf, no one can know if her crimes resulted in any victims.
    But keep listening to the mindless narrative - it will let you be a drone easier.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    no one can know if her crimes resulted in any victims

    They didn't.

    Free will and all...

  • Procyon Rotor||

    You of all people, copsucker, are one to talk about being a mindless drone.

  • CDRSchafer||

    Nobody other than hospices and people stuck in airports listen to the MSM.

  • Eidde||

  • Egypt Steve||

    The smile on Trump's face says it all. He'll do anything for a massive pair of tits.

  • Dallas H.||

    Oh, honestly, who wouldn't?

  • Nuwanda||

    Kardashian West? Are there plans to open a Kardashian East?

    I reminisce about the old days of Playboy Mansion West and its sister in Chicago, Playboy Mansion East; flying between the two in the Swingin' Seventies, just as legions of fans now jet between Kim's left ass cheek and her right. Although to keep things to scale, Kardashian East would have to be in New York with Kimbo's crack standing in for the Mississippi.

  • RavenHatfield||

    He pardoned people who pled guilty to crimes, and only commuted her sentence. Well. She IS a woman, so if he can't rape her, what does he care about her.

  • josh||

    I wonder if Trump left her some money on the nightstand after? But whatever she did, it was worth it.

  • LikeATimeBomb||

    Reminds me of the old CS Lewis quote: "It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

  • chey||

    Kim Kardashian the woman that have had at least 50 procedures of plastic surgery (abdominoplasty, blepharoplasty, breast, liposuction..) this women broke the number of Mickael Jackson

  • gphx||

    Just when you were oversaturated with the Kardashians to the point of wanting to nail gun yourself in the back of the head Kim and Kanye go and do things that make you like them.

    GODDAMMIT!

  • PaulTheBeav||

    I bet Jeff Sessions isn't pleased.

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