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Monday, June 25, 2018, 

Drug offender released after Kim Kardashian West's plea to Donald Trump

Drug offender released after Kim Kardashian West

Washington, 7 June 2018 (MIA) - Donald Trump has commuted the life sentence of a 63-year-old woman whose cause was championed by Kim Kardashian West.

Alice Marie Johnson spent more than two decades behind bars, serving life without parole for non-violent drug offences.

She was released hours after the White House announcement.

In contrast to a pardon, Trump's actions only ended rather than erased Johnson's conviction.

Kardashian West, who met with the president to lobby on behalf of Johnson, tweeted that the prisoner's release was the "BEST NEWS EVER!!!!".

The television personality later tweeted to say she spoke to Johnson on the phone to tell her the news, saying the phone call was "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," she added.

алис џонсон помилувана

Michael Scholl, a member of Johnson's legal team, said she was released just before 6pm from prison in Alabama.

Footage shows Johnson running toward her family - throwing her arms wide open and embracing them in front of a crowd of onlookers.

"Everybody was crying and hugging," Scholl said.

Johnson spent more than 20 years in prison and was not eligible for parole. She was convicted in 1996 on eight counts related to a cocaine trafficking ring in Memphis.

Previous appeals to the US Supreme Court have been thrown out and court records show Johnson has a motion pending for a reduction in her sentence.

Kardashian West also discussed criminal justice reform with Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

She tweeted her thanks to the president and Kushner, saying: "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.

"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."

US media reports that dozens more prisoners could be released by Trump.

The president says he's considering a long list of other clemency actions, including for former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, who is serving 14 years in prison for corruption, and celebrity homemaker Martha Stewart, who served about five months for insider financial trading.

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