Kim Kardashian took interest in the case of Alice Marie Johnson in 2017 and worked with lawyers to build a case to free Johnson from prison. Over the summer, Kardashian’s efforts proved successful when President Donald Trump okayed Johnson to be set free and Kardashian was able to capture some of the emotional moments on Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Johnson served 21 years of her life sentence after she was convicted for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense.
In a statement to CNN, Johnson spoke about what led her to end up behind bars and she talked about her journey, saying, “I am only one of thousands of first-time, nonviolent offenders given mandatory and lengthy prison terms after committing crimes under financial distress. In 1996, I was given a death sentence without sitting on death row. I was convicted as a first-time, nonviolent drug offender to life behind bars in federal prison. Since I went to prison, the laws governing my wrongdoing have changed. If I were convicted again today for the same crime, my life might look very different.”
She continued, “Before my incarceration, I had a full life. I married my childhood sweetheart and became the mother to five beautiful children … After almost two decades together and a tumultuous relationship, my husband and I divorced in 1989. It was during this time that my life began to spiral out of control. I lost my job — and — then my youngest son was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident … I made some very poor decisions out of desperation.”
Kim Kardashian hired new lawyers, including Shawn Holley, to help her free Johnson, according to Harpers Bazaar. And, in an open letter to TMZ, Johnson thanked Kardashian for helping her. Johnson wrote, “There are no words strong enough to express my deep and heartfelt gratitude. Ms. Kardashian, you are quite literally helping to save my life and restore me to my family. I was drowning and you have thrown me a life jacket, and given me hope that this life jacket I’m serving may one day be taken off.”
On May 30, 2018, Kardashian wrote her own “thank you” after meeting with the President about Johnson’s case. Kardashian tweeted, “I would like to thank President Trump for his time this afternoon. It is our hope that the President will grant clemency to Ms. Alice Marie Johnson who is serving a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug offense.” Fortunately for Johnson, Trump decided to pardon her after speaking with Kardashian.
Alice Marie Johnson is a mother of four and a grandmother to six. Over the years, according to Essence, she has become a published writer, an ordained minister, and a GED volunteer.
On June 6, 2018, the Washington Post reported that Johnson had been pardoned. A statement from The White House read, “Ms. Johnson has accepted responsibility for her past behavior and has been a model prisoner over the past two decades. 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.”