Kim Kardashian’s much-discussed meeting with President Donald Trump about Alice Marie Johnson has a happy ending. On Wednesday, Trump announced that he’s decided to grant clemency to Johnson, freeing her from a life sentence for a first-offense drug crime.
"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," the White House said in a statement, adding that Johnson has "accepted responsibility for her past behavior" and was a "model prisoner who rehabilitated herself in prison.
How Kim Kardashian helped free Alice Marie Johnson
Kardashian has been working on behalf of Johnson since learning about her case in a tweet. Since then, she’s spoken at length with both Senior White House Advisor Jared Kushner and Trump about releasing the 63-year-old grandmother.
"If you think about a decision that you’ve made in your life, and you get life without the possibility of parole for your first-time nonviolent offense, there’s just something so wrong with that," Kardashian told Mic.
Why is Alice Marie Johnson in prison?
Johnson’s troubles began in the early 1990s with a gambling addiction. She soon lost her job, her home and had to declare bankruptcy. To make ends meet, she started working as a lookout for drug dealers and was eventually indicted in a federal case related to the trafficking.
Several of Johnson’s co-conspirators turned on her for lighter sentences, leaving her with a federal life sentence plus 25 years. There is no parole in the federal system, so her sentence was life without a chance of getting out.
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Until Trump changed that today.
"Some refer to prison as a place where hope dies. Some days I've found that to be almost right," Johnson wrote in an essay for CNN. "But at the beginning of my time here I made a pact — that I wouldn't give up hope. Each time that I've come close, God has restored my faith."
Her family previously lobbied President Obama for clemency, but he didn’t act on it before leaving office in January 2017.
"So when the unlikely voices of Kim Kardashian West and Jared Kushner came together to shine a spotlight on my case, I could only thank God, for he works in mysterious ways," she added in her essay.
And Kardashian is thrilled that her advocacy — though criticized — worked for Alice Marie Johnson.
"BEST NEWS EVER!!!!" she tweeted Wednesday morning.
So grateful to @realDonaldTrump, Jared Kushner & to everyone who has showed compassion & contributed countless hours to this important moment for Ms. Alice Marie Johnson. Her commutation is inspirational & gives hope to so many others who are also deserving of a second chance.— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 6, 2018
"So grateful to @realDonaldTrump, Jared Kushner & to everyone who has showed compassion & contributed countless hours to this important moment for Ms. Alice Marie Johnson. Her commutation is inspirational & gives hope to so many others who are also deserving of a second chance," Kardashian added, hinting that her work as an advocate is just beginning.
I hope to continue this important work by working together with organizations who have been fighting this fight for much longer than I have and deserve the recognition.— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 6, 2018
"I hope to continue this important work by working together with organizations who have been fighting this fight for much longer than I have and deserve the recognition," she wrote.