UPDATED: 9:37 a.m. EDT, May 30 — Kim Kardashian has reportedly scheduled a meeting with Donald Trump to discuss the possibilities of granting a presidential pardon to a Black grandmother who has been jailed for decades for a non-violent drug offense. The reality star and the president were expected to meet at the White House on Wednesday, according to Vanity Fair.
Alice Marie Johnson, 62, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for a first-time non-violent drug offense in 1996.
The reality star may not actually meet with the president after all, according to a tweet from a Fox News producer who covers the White House. While the meeting will indeed discuss the possibility of Johnson’s early release, Kardashian will reportedly meet with Jared Kushner instead.
Alice Marie Johnson is a name you should know. She has been in jail for over 20 years and Kim Kardashian is fighting for her to be released. She reportedly became interested in the case after seeing a feature from Mic, which led her to tweet about it. See below:
The reality star contacted Jared Kushner about the case because he is working on a prison-reform bill, and she also enlisted her lawyers to look further into it back in November. Kardashian has reportedly been in contact with Kushner and the White House for months about Johnson’s case, according to Mic. In addition, there has been more frequent communication the past week and Kardashian is working to bring Johnson’s case to the Trump’s desk.
Here are some must-know facts about Alice Marie Johnson:
- On October 31, 1996, Alice Marie Johnson, who was then 41, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for a first-time non-violent drug offense. In 1997, a Memphis paper reported she led a “multimillion-dollar drug ring that dealt in tons of cocaine from 1991-94.” However, who knows how accurate “multimillion-dollar drug ring” is — this was the era of Clinton’s crime reform bill, which was locking up Black men and women for drug crimes and giving them long, mandatory prison sentences.
- After Alice and her husband divorced in 1989, she lost her job at Fedex, which she’d had for seven years, and
her youngest son was killed in a motorcycle accident, she told CNN.com, “I made some very poor decisions out of desperation. I want this part to be clear: I acknowledge that I have done wrong. I made the biggest mistake of my life to make ends meet and got involved with people selling drugs.”
- Alice Marie Johnson describes her crimes as “I became what is called a telephone mule, passing messages between the distributors and sellers. I participated in a drug conspiracy, and I was wrong.”
- Her daughter started a petition to ask for President Barack Obama to grant Alice Marie Johnson clemency, but she was denied.
Her daughter said since her mother has been in prison “she has been a model prisoner who mentors women and has become an ordained minister. She has also written, directed, and produced several plays and writings for conferences outside of prison walls, choreographed dance teams, and completed many classes and certifications. Her supporters include Congressman Steve Cohen (D) Tennessee, Congressman Bennie Thompson (D) Mississippi, and Congressman Marc Veasey (D) Ft. Worth, Texas.”
While this is a valiant effort from Kardashian and we hope she is successful in getting Alice Marie Johnson released from jail, Trump unfortunately is calling for the death penalty for drug-related crimes. It seems highly unlikely he will find it in his heart to pardon her, but miracles are possible.
If you would like to sign the petition for Alice Marie Johnson’s release, click here.