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June 07, 2018

Trump Commutes the Sentence of the 63-Year-Old Woman Imprisoned for Life for Drug Charges; Kim Kardashian Had Met With Trump to Plead the Woman's Case

I don't have a strong opinion on this one way or the other; I don't know the facts, and I'm not even sure I'd have an opinion if I did know the facts.

I'm just mentioning this because this story has been resolved, and I'm sure some of you were following it.

President Trump has signed a commutation for Alice Johnson, currently serving a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense, according to a source with direct knowledge. The Washington Post first reported last night that he had been considering pardoning Johnson.

The details: Johnson's cause was championed last week at the White House by Kim Kardashian West. White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, who pushed for Johnson's pardon, had been in contact with Kardashian West over the past several months on the issue. Per a source familiar, White House counsel Don McGahn is skeptical of the merits of pardoning Johnson.

The big picture: This is part of a broader effort led by Jared Kushner to highlight the issue of prison reform -- particularly focused on nonviolent offenders.

More about Johnson's crime, per Mic, who first reported on Kardashian West's conversations with Kushner: "Johnson was convicted and sentenced to life without parole in 1996 for her role facilitating communications in a cocaine trafficking operation in Memphis, Tennessee."

I know for a fact that many female offenders claim hard-luck stories and judges usually let them off with far lighter sentences -- or no sentences at all -- for crimes a man would go away for decades for. I don't necessarily buy this woman's A Man Done Me Wrong type story, and I don't necessarily buy that she was just a minor pawn in the scheme.

But I also don't know the facts, as I've said. Life without parole does seem to be a long sentence for facilitating drug trades.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 03:36 PM

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