WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Alice Johnson was reunited with her family on Wednesday after her sentence was commuted by President Donald Trump.
- The 63-year-old grandmother was serving a life sentence on drug charges in a prison in Aliceville, Alabama.
- Her release was personally championed by reality TV star Kim Kardashian West.
Kim Kardashian West was the first to break the news to Alice Johnson, who said she was called to report to her case manager when she heard Kardashian West’s voice over the intercom.
Johnson said, “I was free. I was going to rejoin my family.”
She said she was thankful for the president for giving her “another chance” at life. She added, “I feel like my life is starting over again. It’s a miracle day.”
Johnson rejoiced at the absence of handcuffs when she saw her family for the first time since she was freed.
She said, “I’m free to hug my family. I’m free to live life. I’m free to start over. This is the greatest day of my life. My heart is just bursting with gratitude.”
Kardashian West shared Johnson’s enthusiasm in her tweet stating, “Best News Ever!!” She also thanked the administration for its efforts.
The White House statement announcing the commutation of her sentence read, “Ms. Johnson has accepted responsibility for her past behavior and has been a model prisoner over the past two decades. Despite receiving a life sentence, Alice worked hard to rehabilitate herself in prison, and act as a mentor to her fellow inmates.”
The White House added, “While this Administration will always be very tough on crime, it believes that those who have paid their debt to society and worked hard to better themselves while in prison deserve a second chance.”
Jennifer Turner of the ACLU explained, “Alice Marie Johnson was convicted of a nonviolent drug offense in 1996 and received a sentence far too severe for the crime: life without the possibility of parole.”
Johnson was given a mandatory life sentence plus 25 years in 1997 for her role in a cocaine distribution ring.
Tretessa Johnson told ABC News in a recent Skype interview that she was thankful Kardashian West took an interest in her mother’s case, saying that “She could have just seen the video or read an article or whatever and just said oh that’s a shame or whatever and went on with her life, but she didn’t, she chose to get involved in a major way.”
Source: ABC News