Kim Kardashian Meets With President Trump About Criminal Justice Reform In Oval Office
They say politics makes strange bedfellows, and the state of the nation in 2018 is not likely to convince you otherwise.
Kanye West‘s meetings with and support for Donald Trump have sown a lot of controversy. Now his wife, Kim Kardashian, has also met with the president, and it may seem just as strange to some observers, but her crusade has also engendered a fair amount of support.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018
Kardashian has recently taken an interest in criminal justice reform, advocating on behalf of women facing harsh sentences. This has included deploying her legal team to aid Cyntoia Brown, now 30, who was convicted for the murder of a 43-year-old man who she claimed raped her after she was sex-trafficked at the age of 16. Brown is now serving a life sentence without eligibility for parole for 51 years.
Also on Kardashian’s agenda is the case of Alice Marie Johnson, who is serving a life sentence for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense. She was sentenced in 1996 on cocaine conspiracy and money laundering charges and has been in prison for over 20 years.
In an op-ed for CNN, Johnson explained her role in the operation: “I became what is called a telephone mule, passing messages between the distributors and sellers. I participated in a drug conspiracy, and I was wrong.”
Johnson has missed the births of her grandchildren and great-grandchild while in prison. She is not eligible for parole, as it is not available in the federal system. Thus, essentially her only available recourse is a presidential pardon. Kardashian touched upon this possibility after her meeting:
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.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) May 31, 2018
If Trump were to grant a pardon, it would go against his tough-on-crime stance against drug trafficking. He suggested at a White House summit earlier this year that the death penalty would be appropriate for such perpetrators: “We have pushers and drugs dealers, they are killing hundreds and hundreds of people. If you shoot one person, they give you life, they give you the death penalty. These people can kill 2,000, 3,000 people and nothing happens to them.”