Alice Marie Johnson, a 62-year-old grandmother is serving a life sentence in prison for a non-violent drug offense. Johnson has been in prison since October 1996. For years, criminal reform activists have called for her release. Now, Kim Kardashian West is getting in on the action.
Kardashian West has spoken over the phone with President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner about a possible presidential pardon for Johnson. According to Mic, the calls have occured over the past several months and have increased over the last few days. A representative for Kardashian West confirmed that she is trying to put Johnson’s case on the president’s desk.
Johnson became involved in drug trafficking after she lost her job at FedEx where she had worked for 10 years and became desperate to provide for her family after she divorced due to a gambling addiction and her youngest son was killed in a motorcycle accident. Johnson said, “I felt like a failure. I went into a complete panic and out of desperation, I made one of the worst decisions of my life to make some quick money. I became involved in a drug conspiracy.” She was arrested, convicted and sentenced to life in prison for her non-violent role in assisting with communication in a drug trafficking case. As of May 2018, she has spent over 20 years in prison.
Kardashian West became involved in trying to help free Johnson after watching a Mic video on her predicament. The women have already spoken with each other and Johnson wrote a letter thanking Kardashian West for her support and help.
Johnson believed she would be pardoned by President Barack Obama in 2016 because she was a model prisoner during her sentence. She said, “When the criteria came out for clemency, I thought for sure — in fact, I was certain that I’d met and exceeded all of the criteria. Oh my goodness, I had so much support.”
Now, the only hope for Johnson to be released is if Trump grants her a presidential pardon. It is uncertain whether or not Kardashian West will meet face-to-face with Trump or Kushner in the coming weeks to consider Johnson’s release.
– Blair Halliday