President Donald Trump granted clemency to Alice Marie Johnson, one of many people of color behind bars for life because of a nonviolent drug offense, Axios reported. The commutation of her sentence comes just days after the president met with Kim Kardashian West, a Johnson supporter, at the White House to discuss prison reform.
Johnson is a 63-year-old woman from Tennessee who was sentenced to life in prison for a first-time drug offense.
In 1993, she was arrested after working with a group of people who transported cocaine. The mother of four has said her involvement stemmed from hitting rock bottom in her personal life: In the early 1990s, she had gone through a divorce, a bankruptcy that led her to lose her house, and her youngest son was killed in a motorcycle accident.
Johnson alleges she never actually sold or dealt drugs, and that her role in the group was that of a “telephone mule” who passed messages along. Nevertheless, she was convicted of conspiracy to sell cocaine and money laundering, which led to a sentence of life plus 25 years in federal prison — despite it being her first offense.