Alice Marie Johnson is a free woman, thanks to a presidential commutation of a sentence she never should have received.
I applaud Donald J. Trump for setting Alice Johnson free.
Yes, I found it curious — and that is the most charitable thing I can say about it — that it took an Oval Office visit by reality TV celebrity Kim Kardashian West to persuade the president to do the right thing.
I don’t know what motivated him to respond to Kardashian West’s request. Maybe it’s their shared reality TV background; maybe it’s the good things Kim’s husband, Kanye West, has said about Trump.
Johnson was given a life sentence for a non-violent drug offense, reportedly the first conviction she ever had received. The sentence clearly was overly harsh and Johnson — a great-grandmother — didn’t deserve to spend so many years behind bars.
There’s another aspect of the president’s newfound compassion that I find curious. Didn’t he declare not long ago that drug dealers should be executed, given the death penalty?
I guess I also should point out that when President Obama commuted the sentences of hundreds of non-violent drug offenders, conservatives went ballistic. This time? Uh, they hail the president.
The president did the right thing. We can speculate all we want about why he did it. The bottom line is that he has set free an American citizen who needs her freedom.
It brings to mind one more question: How many other Alice Johnsons are locked up for far too long?