On Wednesday 5/30/18 Kim Kardashian met with President Donald Trump to request a pardon for Alice Marie Johnson, a 62-year-old woman serving a life sentence for a first time drug offense.
Johnson has been in prison for 21 years, after being given a life sentence for being a part of a drug ring where she acted as a go between laying coded messages by telephone, but was never caught with, or had any evidence directly linking her to specific drug deals. She does admit to being involved but was the only person out of the 15 that were arrested to be given a life sentence. All of the others involved received sentences ranging from no jail time to 10 years.
The ACLU has highlighted 110 cases of people that are serving life without parole for non-violent drug offenses. “The punishments these people received are grotesquely out of proportion to the crimes they committed,” said Jennifer Turner, ACLU human rights researcher. Some of the crimes included in the study were, possession of a crack pipe, acting as a middleman in the sale of $10 of marijuana, possession of a bottle cap containing a trace amount of heroin too small to weigh, selling of a single crack rock, and shoplifting a $159 jacket. All of the offenders of these “crimes” were given life sentences.
I am certain that no matter how the public feels about Trump he has the power to pardon these people and continue to right some of the wrongs that were created by an unjust sentencing system. If you are poor, and you are caught committing a crime, the punishment is usually swift and harsh. If you are black and poor, then the punishment is usually even more harsh. I don’t expect Trump to change this as he is just one man in a temporary position, but I commend Kim for bringing this issue to him and people like him that usually find it easier to conveniently ignore such unflattering issues.