Kim Kardashian celebrated after she successfully lobbied President Trump to offer clemency to Alice Johnson, a 62-year-old woman serving a life sentence for a non-violent drug offense. But, the origins of how Kardashian came to be Johnson’s advocate came from her seeing a viral video produced by Mic.
“I saw your video and when I see a story like hers and I go back to maybe, you know, decisions we’ve all made,” Kardashian told Jake Horowitz, the website’s co-founder. “If you think about a decision that you’ve made in your life and you get life without the possibility of parole for your first time non-violent offense, there’s just something so wrong with that.”
“This is so unfair,” she noted in a quote tweet of the original video.
This is so unfair… https://t.co/W3lPINbQuy
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) October 26, 2017
The Mic video that documented Johnson’s struggle went viral after it first aired in October 2017, and has since generated more than 40,000 retweets. The footage has been viewed more than 4 million times.
“Johnson is one of 3,278 people serving life without parole for a nonviolent offense,” the video asserts. “Like Johnson, 79% of these people are non-violent drug offenders and 65% are black.”
The clip went on to say that Johnson’s only viable pathway to freedom lay with an act of executive clemency — something which could only come from the president. Appeals to President Obama were denied without explanation.
“We’re extremely proud of our team’s indefatigable coverage of Alice Johnson’s case, and the enormous impact it’s had,” a spokesperson for the company told TheWrap.
“So far the White House has been really receptive to my calls and I am grateful for that and I am not going to stop that because people personally don’t like Trump,” Kardashian said.
Alice Marie Johnson has been in prison for 21 years for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense. pic.twitter.com/VFe29D2ve8
— Mic (@mic) October 23, 2017
“I would explain to [Trump] that just like everybody else we can make choices in our lives that we’re not proud of and that we don’t think through all the way. You know I really do believe that she’s going to really thrive outside of prison. And I would just urge him to please pardon her.”
Kardashian took the issue all the way to the Oval Office last week, and while she failed to secure a full pardon, the communication Trump granted will allow Johnson to leave prison.
“Ms. Johnson has accepted responsibility for her past behavior and has been a model prisoner over the past two decades.” said the White House in an official statement explaining the decision to commute. “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.”