Alice Marie Johnson, a great grandmother jailed for nearly 22 years for a non-violent drug charge in America, has thanked Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian after being released.
Just over a week ago Kim Kardashian met with President Donald Trump to lobby the case of Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old great grandmother who’s been in prison for 22 years for a first-time, non-violent drug charge.
Now, a week later, Trump has done the right thing by granting Johnson clemency – and releasing her from prison today (Thursday 7 June).
In an emotional reunion outside an Alabama prison, Johnson thanked both Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian, saying she was “free to live life and free to start over.”
“I have a lot of catching up to do with my family. I can’t wait to get back on the workforce and get back to my community,” Johnson told her family members and supporters, according to BBC News.
And the moment was captured by Quentin Smith, a local journalist from WCBI news outlet, who shared the video on social media.
Alice Marie Johnson is emotional and greeted by dozens of family members as they see her for the first time since she’s been free. Johnson says she’s thankful for this second chance and is ready to get back home and spend time with her family @WCBINEWS pic.twitter.com/oMyqrmaQi4— Quentin Smith WCBI (@Q_Smith_) June 6, 2018
Johnson, who was convicted of cocaine trafficking in 1996, had gained prominence when Kardashian started lobbying on her behalf. On Wednesday 6 June, the White House announced in a statement its decision to pardon Johnson: “Ms. Johnson has accepted responsibility for her past behaviour 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.”
Kardashian took to Twitter to share the news that she had called Johnson to tell her she was free.
“The phone call I just had with Alice will forever be one of my best memories. Telling her for the first time and hearing her screams while crying together is a moment I will never forget.”
The phone call I just had with Alice will forever be one of my best memories. Telling her for the first time and hearing her screams while crying together is a moment I will never forget.— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 6, 2018
And then later shared a video of Johnson’s family thanking her on the Today Show.
After Johnson was released from prison, Trump tweeted that he hopes she has “a wonderful life.”
Johnson is the second person commuted by Trump since taking office. The first was Shalom Rubashkin, a chief executive of a meatpacking company, who was convicted on charges of fraud and money laundering in 2009 and sentenced to 27 years in jail. Trump commuted his sentence in December 2017.