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Trump commutes Alice Marie Johnson's sentence

Trump eyes new pardons
Trump eyes new pardons 02:51

President Trump commuted the life sentence of a grandmother serving a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense, CBS News' Paula Reid reports, citing a White House official. Alice Marie Johnson's case was championed last week by reality TV personality Kim Kardashian West, who met with Mr. Trump at the White House about sentencing and prison reform.

It was Kardashian who got to break the news of the commuted sentence to Johnson. One of Alice Marie Johnson's lawyers, Brittany Barnett said that Kardashian West joined a phone call with Johnson and her legal team. Kardashian then tweeted, "The phone call I just had with Alice will forever be one of my best memories. Telling her for the first time and hearing her screams while crying together is a moment I will never forget."

Kardashian West became interested in Alice Marie Johnson after she saw a Mic interview about her case. She said she "was not only moved to tears, but moved to action."

The White House released a statement about the 63-year-old Johnson, a great-grandmother who has served 22 years in federal prison for what was a first-time criminal offense. She was convicted in 1996 for "leading a multi-million-dollar drug ring that dealt in tons of cocaine from 1991-1994," according to the Tennessean. She was tried on charges of cocaine conspiracy and money-laundering charges. 

"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. It also said that she has accepted responsibility for her behavior and has been a model prisoner.

Criminal justice reform 07:22

Johnson's daughter, Tretessa Johnson, welcomed the new, posting on Facebook, "CLEMENCY GRANTED!!! MAMA IS COMING HOME!!! Thanks so much President Trump for extending mercy towards my mother and giving her her freedom back!" She went on to say that her heart "is so full of gratitude for the beautiful inside and out Kim Khardashian [sic] West who decided to advocate for and essentially save the life of my mother, someone she had never heard of or met!"

CLEMENCY GRANTED!!! MAMA IS COMING HOME!!! Thanks so much President Trump for extending mercy towards my mother and...

Posted by Tretessa Johnson on Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Tretessa Johnson also thanked Mr. Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has made prison reform part of his portfolio. His own father, Charles Kushner, served time in federal prison for white collar crimes, including illegal campaign contributions and tax evasion.

CBS News' Becky Van Dercook and Jacqueline Alemany contributed to this report.

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