Alice Johnson, a woman who had been sentenced to life in prison for a nonviolent drug offense, praised President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE at the Republican National Convention Thursday for commuting her sentence and signing the bipartisan criminal justice reform First Step Act.
“I was once told that the only way I would ever be reunited with my family would be as a corpse,” Johnson said. “But by the grace of God and the compassion of President Donald John Trump, I stand before you tonight…and I assure you, I’m not a ghost. I am alive, I am well, and most importantly, I am free.”
Trump commuted Johnson’s sentence in 2018 at the urging of Kim KardashianKimberly (Kim) Noel Kardashian WestThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Polls open in California as Newsom fights for job Forbes says Fenty has made Rihanna 'the wealthiest female musician in the world' How to turn the tide on vaccine hesitancy: Apply an algorithm that actually works MORE-West, a justice reform advocate.
“Some say, ‘You do the crime. You do the time.’ However, that time should be fair and just,” Johnson said. “We’ve all made mistakes, and none of us want to be defined forever based on our worst decision.”
Johnson credited her Christian faith and Trump’s “compassion” for her release, but urged empathy for those in similar circumstances she met in prison.
“I’m using my voice to tell their stories. And I pray that my face reminds you of those forgotten faces,” she said.
“I pray that you will not just hear this message, but that you will be inspired by my story, and your compassion will lead you to take action for those who are forgotten,” she concluded. “That’s what our President, Donald Trump, did for me. And, for that, I will be forever grateful.”
Johnson’s remarks came in contrast to several other speakers that evening, who conveyed a stringent law-and-order message and decried Democrats as soft on crime.
While Trump’s campaign has accused Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrat threatens to vote against party's spending bill if HBCUs don't get more federal aid Overnight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Haitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes MORE of being anti-police, it has also blasted his support for “tough on crime” policies in the 1990s that disproportionately affected Black Americans. Since Biden announced Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisStefanik in ad says Democrats want 'permanent election insurrection' Live coverage: California voters to decide Newsom's fate Florida woman faces five years in prison for threatening to kill Harris MORE (D-Calif.) as his running mate, it has similarly attacked her record as California attorney general.