Alice Johnson, Freed by President Trump: ‘Thank You for This Mercy’

By Susan Jones | June 7, 2018 | 9:22am EDT
President Trump has just commuted the prison sentence of Alice Johnson, shown here with her daughter. (Photo: Screen capture/C-SPAN)

( – “Good luck to Alice Johnson. Have a wonderful life!” President Trump tweeted Thursday morning, one day after commuting the sentence of the woman who served 21 years in an Alabama prison for her part in a non-violent drug conspiracy.

Alice Johnson made the rounds of the morning news shows, thanking both President Trump for giving her a second chance and celebrity Kim Kardashian for personally intervening on her behalf.

“This time yesterday I was behind bars,” Johnson told CNN. Today I’m walking around, seeing all the sights, and hugging everybody.”

CNN’s Alisyn Camerota read President Trump’s tweet about Johnson, then asked her for her reaction.

“Wow,” she said. “President Trump made me have a wonderful life possible. And I’m just so thankful to him. I’m just amazed to hear that I’m actually one of his tweets – I love it,” she said.

Johnson said she would thank the president if he called her “for really seeing me, not just looking at some data about my crime but actually looking at the person who I have become now. And having faith that I deserve a second chance in life. I’d just say thank you for this mercy.”

Because it was Donald Trump who commuted the sentence, Camerota, as a good media liberal, was obliged to note the negative:

“Well, I don’t want to overlook that data, but I do want to put it in perspective for everyone. So the Department of Justice brief on you, Alice, just so everybody understands what it was you were convicted of a life sentence for -- possession of 12 kilograms of cocaine with intention to deliver, nine kilos of cocaine with intent to distribute, 75 kilograms of cocaine with intent to distribute as well as money laundering.

“So what were you thinking back then?” Camerota asked. “And how do you plan to change your life now?”

“Well I believe I’ve already changed my life,” Johnson said -- explaining that she was convicted on conspiracy charge, which means you’re responsible for what everyone else does in that conspiracy. So that is not what I personally did,” she said.

She said she was not trying to “underplay” her part in the crime, “But my life is completely changed, and I believe that over these almost 22 years I’ve proven that I’m a changed woman.”

Johnson said she already has a job lined up and she plans to “work hard on helping to change some of these laws” and prison reform.

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