Yesterday, after spending 22 years in a federal prison for a nonviolent drug conviction, 63-year-old great-grandmother Alice Marie Johnson was released when President Trump commuted her sentence, thanks to reality star Kim Kardashian West.
On Thursday morning, Johnson appeared on Good Morning America both thanking President Trump for his decision and also reminding him that she isn’t the only person who could use the same help.
“I’d like to tell President Trump that I am so grateful for everything that you’ve done for me and my family,” Johnson said when asked by host Michael Strahan if she’d spoken to the White House after her release. “This moment right now is happening because President Trump had mercy on me. I’d like to tell him that, please, please remember us, the others who have been left behind — because there are so many like me who need to have an opportunity, the opportunity that I’ve had.”
Johnson was incarcerated in 1996 after a desperate decision to work with drug traffickers. Although she never bought or sold drugs, and although she had a clean criminal record before her arrest, she was sentenced to life in prison. When reality star Kardashian West saw a video depicting Johnson’s struggles, she decided to get involved, eventually leading to the mom-of-three’s clandestine meeting with President Trump in late May.
While Johnson says she doesn’t feel bitter about her time in prison, she did tell Strahan that she will be using her time and newfound freedom to work in supporting others struggling with similar stories.
“I plan on continuing to work hard to use my case as an example for prison reform and sentencing reform to make a difference,” Johnson said. “When you see my face, you see so many other faces that I represent.”
At the time of Johnson’s commutation, CNN reported that the White House was preparing documentation for at least 30 more people to either be pardoned or have their sentences commuted — all instances where the administration believes that courts overstepped their boundaries. There is no word on who the administration has tapped to be released, however.
(Photo via Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)