Trump has been on a pardoning roll lately, so Kim Kardashian was certainly striking with the iron was hot when she paid him a visit to ask for clemency for a 62-year-old grandma who’d been in prison for 21 years for a first-time non-violent drug offense.
But who was this grandma who has been in prison for 21 years for a first-time, non-violent drug offense? Well, she certainly seems like a very nice lady, especially as pictured by this Mic video that’s been circulating social media, telling her story:
After meeting with Kim Kardashian about prison reform and Alice Johnson’s case in particular, President Trump commuted Johnson’s sentence. Since 1996, Johnson had been serving a life sentence for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense.https://t.co/Q60x1Cbtz4
— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) June 6, 2018
Well, to start with, she was most likely not a grandma when she entered prison, like most elderly people in prison who are serving out lengthy or life-long sentences.
Ben Shaprio, Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Wire sheds a bit more light on Johnson’s story:
She was sentenced in 1996 to life in prison for her role as a leader of a multi-million dollar cocaine ring trafficking in 2,000 to 3,000 kilograms in involvement with the deadly Colombian Cali drug cartel. The judge in that case (who now sits on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and was confirmed to that seat by a 95-0 vote in the Senate) called Johnson “the quintessential entrepreneur.” Cocaine trafficking ends with dead people on both ends of the business — in both the gathering and shipment of cocaine, and in the addiction to it by users.
Well, that does put a slightly different light on things, doesn’t it? Shapiro continues:
Johnson didn’t “get involved with people selling drugs.” She was an integral part of a drug ring, as the trial documents demonstrate. Johnson writes plays and she’s a grandmother. That’s the case for her clemency. But we all get older. That’s not a case for commutation. And some people write plays. That isn’t either.
Shapiro also notes that not only is this not a very good reason to commute the sentence of someone conducting such a large-scale illicit drug operation, but that Trump is flip-flopping majorly on one of his key issues:
Celebrity suitors seem to have sprung Johnson, rather than a principled examination of the issues. President Trump has said he wants to seek the death penalty for drug traffickers. He stated, “If you shoot one person, they give you life, they give you the death penalty. These [drug dealers] can kill 2,000, 3,000 people, and nothing happens to them.” Trump has suggested that illegal immigration presents a threat to the United States thanks to drug trafficking. Johnson was guilty of these sins.
It is one thing for Trump to commute Johnson’s sentence, but it is something else entirely for him to contradict such a strong talking point. The base that elected him did so in part because of his bold promise to re-establish our nation’s quickly decreasing law and order and to clean up the streets from kingpin dealers like Johnson.
It doesn’t matter if someone is a grandma or not, if they’ve broken the law that you’ve vowed to uphold, that’s a bit of a conflict. Maybe Trump should try a little less to impress the Kardashian-Wests and a bit harder to keep his base happy–and his country great.
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