President Donald Trump has commuted the sentence of 63-year-old Alice Marie Johnson, a great-grandmother currently serving a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug related conviction.
“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 statement read in part.
The commutation comes after a meeting with Kim Kardashian, who urged Trump to pardon Johnson.
The question of what to do about Johnson’s sentence has been controversial within the White House. Chief of Staff John Kelly reportedly urged the president not to pardon her. He has apparently won that specific argument, as Johnson is being granted clemency, but not a full pardon.
According to CNN, Johnson’s commutation came as part of a batch of at least 30 people whose paperwork was assembled for the president this week. She was convicted in 1996 for her involvement in a cocaine trafficking operation, in which she helped coordinate communications between the others involved.
In an interview with Mic, Johnson explained that her decision to get involved in the trafficking ring was borne out of a particularly dark period in her life during which she lost her job due to a gambling addiction, and lost a son in a motorcycle accident.
“I felt like a failure,” Johnson explained. “I went into a complete panic and out of desperation, I made one of the worst decisions of my life to make some quick money. I became involved in a drug conspiracy.”
She has already served more than 20 years of her life sentence.
This is a developing story and will be updated as new information is made available