Kim Kardashian West met with President Trump earlier this week to discuss prison reform and the possibility of a pardon of Alice Marie Johnson, a prisoner in her early 60's. Johnson is serving a life sentence for a first-time drug offense.
Kardashian West is part of the infamous Kardashian family, known for their reality TV exploits and for being famous just for being famous. She is married to Kanye West, the famous rapper and fashion designer. Kardashian West first gained media attention as the stylist of Paris Hilton but became much more famous after a leaked sex tape made with her former boyfriend Ray Jay was publicly distributed. Kardashian West is a regular cast member of her family's reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
Alice Marie Johnson was convicted and sentenced to life without parole in 1996 for facilitating communications in a cocaine trafficking ring in Memphis, Tennesee. According to Johnson, she became involved in drug trafficking after losing her job at FedEx due to a gambling addiction. Her marriage had ended in divroce, and her son was killed in a motorcycle accident. Johnson's attempt to make some quick cash cost her her freedom.
Johnson has been a model prisoner during her sentence. She has become an ordained minister and a mentor to other inmates, and she has started writing plays. She fit the criteria for President Obama's Clemency Project 2014, which granted clemency to 231 individuals, many of whom were convicted on drug-related charges. Johnson was denied several days before the end of Obama's term.
Kardashian West became aware of Johnson's story after she saw a short video on social media. She asked her personal attorney, Shawn Holley, to review the case; and she has since paid for a new legal team to assist Johnson. Kardashian West has been speaking with Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law, about Johnson's situation. Following her meeting with the President last week, she thanked Trump for his time and expressed hope that Johnson will be granted clemency.
In order for Johnson to be released, President Trump will either have to issue a presidential pardon or commute her sentence. Given Trump's recent statements that indicated drug dealers be sentenced to death, it is unclear whether he will show Johnson mercy.