The page you are looking for is temporarily unavailable.
Please try again later

US News Trump wants to execute drug dealers. But he may pardon one because Kim Kardashian asked him to.

14:15  06 june  2018
14:15  06 june  2018 Source:   vox.com

The Trump–Kim Kardashian meeting, explained

  The Trump–Kim Kardashian meeting, explained Kardashian is lobbying Trump to pardon Alice Marie Johnson, a great-grandmother convicted of drug trafficking. President Donald Trump met with Kim Kardashian West on Wednesday.“Great meeting with @KimKardashian today,” Trump tweeted, along with a picture of the two, “talked about prison reform and sentencing.”Great meeting with @KimKardashian today, talked about prison reform and sentencing. pic.twitter.com/uOy4UJ41JF— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018The meeting was set up by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, who as a top White House adviser has made prison reform one of his major priorities.

But he may pardon one because Kim Kardashian asked him to . In response to the opioid epidemic, Trump has said that the government should execute drug dealers and traffickers.

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian is trying to manipulate Trump into doing something unspeakable: granting pardon to a filthy Black drug dealer . As every reader knows, such a thing would go against the fundamental premises of Dutertism

Editor's note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author on behalf of our content partner and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft

Donald Trump sitting at a table © Donald Trump Kardashian personally lobbied Trump to pardon the 63-year-old — and it may have worked.

Kim Kardashian West gets results: According to Ashley Parker, Robert Costa, and Josh Dawsey at the Washington Post, President Donald Trump is “strongly considering” pardoning Alice Johnson, the 63-year-old great grandmother serving a life sentence for drug trafficking, whose cause Kardashian lobbied for in the Oval Office.

The decision could come as early as Tuesday, according to the Post. It’s an unusually rapid turnaround for a meeting that happened just last week — when Kardashian met with Trump in the Oval Office, after Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner arranged the meeting, to discuss prison reform and in particular Johnson’s pardon.

Giuliani calls it ‘unthinkable’ that Trump would pardon himself

  Giuliani calls it ‘unthinkable’ that Trump would pardon himself The president’s lawyer says Trump may have the constitutional authority to pardon himself but says the political consequences would be extreme.“He probably does,” Giuliani said, when asked on ABC’s “This Week” if Trump has the ability to pardon himself. “He has no intention of pardoning himself, but he probably — not to say he can’t.

Kardashian is lobbying Trump to pardon Alice Marie Johnson, a great-grandmother convicted of drug trafficking. — Kim Kardashian West (@ KimKardashian ) May 30, 2018. I would like to thank President Trump for his time this afternoon.

Kim Kardashian West has met President Donald Trump to discuss a potential pardon for a 63-year-old great-grandmother who is serving life in prison. Alice Marie Johnson has been behind bars for more than two decades for a first -time drug offence.

This combination photo shows President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Moon Township, Pa., on March 10, 2018, left, and Kim Kardashian West at the NBCUniversal Network 2017 Upfront in New York on May 15, 2017. Kardashian West arrived at the White House for a meeting with presidential senior adviser Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law. She has urged the president to pardon Alice Marie Johnson, who is serving a life sentence without parole for a nonviolent drug offense. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) © Catalyst Images This combination photo shows President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Moon Township, Pa., on March 10, 2018, left, and Kim Kardashian West at the NBCUniversal Network 2017 Upfront in New York on May 15, 2017. Kardashian West arrived at the White House for a meeting with presidential senior adviser Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law. She has urged the president to pardon Alice Marie Johnson, who is serving a life sentence without parole for a nonviolent drug offense. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

The pardon is all the stranger because it goes against the broader policy that Trump has been pushing for drug dealers and traffickers. In response to the opioid epidemic, Trump has said that the government should execute drug dealers and traffickers. More broadly, his administration, under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has adopted a “tough on crime” view toward drugs.

Trump Says Appointment of Special Counsel is ‘Totally Unconstitutional’

  Trump Says Appointment of Special Counsel is ‘Totally Unconstitutional’ The president also said he has the power to pardon himself, raising the prospect that he might take action to immunize himself from the ongoing Russia investigation.WASHINGTON — President Trump declared Monday that the appointment of the special counsel in the Russia investigation is “totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL!” and asserted that he has the power to pardon himself, raising the prospect that he might take extraordinary action to immunize himself from the ongoing probe.

May 3, 2018 admin Entertainment 0. Kim Kardashian is reportedly working with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump in an effort to pardon a 62-year-old great-grandmother serving a life sentence for nonviolent drug -related offenses.

Kim Kardashian is meeting with that guy from the Apprentice at the White House Wednesday in an effort to secure a pardon for 62-year-old Alice Marie Johnson. So, there’s nothing I even want to hear in regards to [ Trump ].” You may like.

But it adds to the unusual string of pardons that Trump has carried out since he took office last year — typically to friends or allies or, as may be true in Kardashian’s case, causes embraced by friends and allies. That kind of nepotism has reportedly horrified even some of Trump’s top advisers, according to the Post:

[T]he potential pardon of Johnson has caused consternation in the West Wing, with top advisers — including chief of staff John F. Kelly and White House counsel Donald McGahn — disturbed by the process, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

Kelly has reviewed Johnson’s background and her 1996 conviction — she was sentenced to life in prison on drug possession and money laundering charges — and is not convinced she deserves a pardon, an administration official said. And McGahn has also argued against the possible pardon as an unnecessary action by the president, a second official said.

Ex-Navy sailor pardoned by Trump says he's suing Comey and Obama

  Ex-Navy sailor pardoned by Trump says he's suing Comey and Obama A former Navy sailor who is one of five people to receive a pardon from President Donald Trump is planning to file a lawsuit against Obama administration officials, alleging that he was subject to unequal protection of the law. Specifically, Kristian Saucier, who served a year in federal prison for taking photos of classified sections of the submarine on which he worked, argues that the same officials who meted out punishment to him for his actions chose to be lenient with Hillary Clinton in her use of a private email server and handling of classified information.

They just kill them': Trump wants to copy Asian laws and ' execute every dealer in the country'. Five sources close to the president told Axios that Trump often talks about wanting to extend the death penalty to drug dealers . Trump reportedly has said the government has to teach children that they

Kim Kardashian plans to ask President Trump Donald John Trump Trump tells Trudeau on NAFTA: US will agree to fair deal or ‘no deal at all’ Dem senator suggests Trump ‘sending a message to witnesses’ with pardons Kim Jong Un hasn’t changed his stance on denuclearization

Regardless, the Post’s reporting suggests that more of these pardons are coming. And the president seems to be giving little thought — besides “asking friends who else he should pardon,” according to the Post — about the implications for his broader policy agenda.

Kim Kardashian, center, arrives with her attorney Shawn Chapman Holley at the security entrance of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) © Catalyst Images Kim Kardashian, center, arrives with her attorney Shawn Chapman Holley at the security entrance of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Who is Alice Johnson?

Johnson is currently serving a life sentence for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense. Since there’s no parole in the federal system, she’s not eligible for it. Johnson, who was sentenced in 1996, has already been in prison for more than 20 years.

Her case was documented in a video by Mic:

According to the Associated Press at the time, Johnson helped lead a multimillion-dollar cocaine ring from 1991 to 1994. At her sentencing, US District Judge Julia Gibbons said that Johnson was “the quintessential entrepreneur” in the operation, “and clearly the impact of 2,000 to 3,000 kilograms of cocaine in this community is very significant.” She was tried on cocaine conspiracy and money laundering charges.

Trump frees woman after Kardashian intervention

  Trump frees woman after Kardashian intervention Donald Trump has commuted the life sentence of a 63-year-old woman whose cause was championed by Kim Kardashian West. Alice Marie Johnson spent more than two decades behind bars, serving life without parole for non-violent drug offences.She was released hours after the White House announcement.In contrast to a pardon, Mr Trump's actions only ended rather than erased Ms Johnson's conviction. © N/A Johnson has already spent more than 20 years in prison.

Kim urged the president to pardon Johnson, a non-violent drug offender, in an interview. And so far, the White House has been really receptive to my calls, and I'm grateful for that, and I'm not going to stop that because people personally don't like Trump ."

Kim Kardashian West met Donald Trump in the White House Wednesday to lobby for prison reform and to ask him to pardon Johnson, who went to jail more than 20 years ago after getting involved in a cocaine ring.

Kim Kardashian attends the CFDA Fashion awards in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., June 4, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton © Catalyst Images Kim Kardashian attends the CFDA Fashion awards in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., June 4, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Johnson told Mic that she got involved in the drug trade at a particularly bad time in her life. Her son had died in a motorcycle crash, and her marriage had ended in divorce. She also had lost her job, causing financial strain. “I couldn’t find a job fast enough to take care of my family,” she said. “I felt like a failure.”

The damage done by the prison sentence is permanent, Johnson said: “I missed the birth of my grandchildren, being able to be in their life. I just had a great-grandson. I missed that. Both of my parents had passed away. I was not able to be by either of their sides in their final days. That’s an ache that I can’t — that never goes away.”

Kardashian first heard of Johnson’s case through Mic’s reporting, tweeting in response to the video, “This is so unfair…”

According to Mic, Kardashian then approached her lawyer to help deal with the case and has communicated directly with Johnson. Johnson subsequently wrote an op-ed for CNN earlier this month titled “Why Kim Kardashian thinks I should be released from prison.”

U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a © Catalyst Images U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a "celebration of America" event on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 5, 2018. The event was arranged after Trump canceled the planned visit of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles to the White House. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Pardons become a Trump fixation, but his latest causes alarm in the White House

  Pardons become a Trump fixation, but his latest causes alarm in the White House <p>President Donald Trump has become fixated on his ability to issue pardons, stirring dissent in the West Wing with his mercurial and seemingly celebrity-driven decisions.</p>US President Donald Trump has become fixated on his ability to issue pardons, asking his aides to compile a list of candidates and stirring dissent in the West Wing with his mercurial and seemingly celebrity-driven decisions.

Kim Kardashian 'is working with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to pardon a 62-year-old grandmother serving life in prison for drug smuggling and money laundering'. Kim Kardashian is working with the White House on a presidential pardon of a

Reality star Kim Kardashian met with President Trump in the Oval Office in May to pled for a pardon for Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old grandmother. Kim Kardashian didn't speak to the press when she left the West Wing of the White House.

Johnson acknowledges that she did something wrong. The question, for her, is if she should really spend the rest of her life in prison for a nonviolent offense.

“The real Miss Alice is a woman who has made a mistake,” Johnson said. “If I could go back in time and change the choices that I made and make different choices, I would. But I can’t. But what I have done is I have not allowed my past to be the sum of who I am.”

Johnson’s case isn’t the first to trigger outrage over excessive prison sentences. Weldon Angelos was sentenced to 55 years in prison for selling marijuana while allegedly in possession of a firearm — a sentence that drew criticism from not just criminal justice advocates but also politicians and even the judge who sentenced him, leading to Angelos’s early release after 12 years in 2016.

In the past few weeks, the case of Matthew Charles has also made headlines after Charles was ordered back to prison after two years out because, a federal appeals court concluded, he was initially released early in error. Kardashian has also tweeted about Charles’s case.

It’s unclear, though, if she brought up Charles’s case in her meetings at the White House.

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to the media after meeting with North Korea's envoy Kim Yong Chol at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis © Catalyst Images U.S. President Donald Trump talks to the media after meeting with North Korea's envoy Kim Yong Chol at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Trump’s bizarre pardons

The potential of a Johnson pardon is all the more bizarre because it goes explicitly against Trump’s broader policy agenda.

As president, Trump has argued that drug dealers and traffickers, like Johnson, should be executed because, in his view, they’re guilty for the overdose deaths that their drugs cause. As he put it at a rally earlier this year, “If you shoot one person, they give you life, they give you the death penalty. These [drug dealers] can kill 2,000, 3,000 people, and nothing happens to them.”

Sessions, who’s in charge of Trump’s Justice Department, has actively tried to carry out this punitive agenda on drugs. In March, he signed off on a memo that asked federal prosecutors to consider the death penalty for cases “dealing in extremely large quantities of drugs.” And last year, he rescinded an Obama-era memo that asked prosecutors to avoid charges for low-level drug offenders that could trigger lengthy mandatory minimums — a move that effectively told prosecutors to pursue the harshest possible punishments for even low-level drug crimes.

Kim Kardashian attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination exhibition on Monday, May 7, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) © Catalyst Images Kim Kardashian attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination exhibition on Monday, May 7, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Meanwhile, as Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, has pursued criminal justice reform, reducing prison sentences for drug offenses has remained out of the question. Instead, Kushner’s efforts have focused on improving conditions in prison and encouraging more rehabilitation programs for inmates.

Sylvester Stallone under investigation by Los Angeles DA for sexual assault

  Sylvester Stallone under investigation by Los Angeles DA for sexual assault A sexual assault allegation against Sylvester Stallone has been put in the hands of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. The Santa Monica Police Department passed on the case, the department confirmed to the Daily News Wednesday.&nbsp;The Santa Monica Police Department passed on the case, the department confirmed to the Daily News Wednesday.

Hiding out: Edward Snowden says he doesn't expect President Obama to sign a pardon for him , but hopes he will - because if he doesn't, he may be handed over to Donald Trump .

This all stands in contrast to the bipartisan efforts of the past several years, in which local, state, and federal lawmakers have moved to make the criminal justice system less punitive.

The argument for such reform: More incarceration and longer prison sentences simply have not worked to significantly reduce crime in the US.

U.S. President Donald Trump concludes his © Catalyst Images U.S. President Donald Trump concludes his "celebration of America" event with the United States Army Chorus on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 5, 2018. The event was arranged after Trump canceled the planned visit of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles to the White House. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

As Mark Kleiman, a drug policy expert at the Marron Institute at New York University, previously told me, “We did the experiment. In 1980, we had about 15,000 people behind bars for drug dealing. And now we have about 450,000 people behind bars for drug dealing. And the prices of all major drugs are down dramatically. So if the question is do longer sentences lead to a higher drug price and therefore less drug consumption, the answer is no.”

One of the best studies backing this is a 2014 review of the research by Peter Reuter at the University of Maryland and Harold Pollack at the University of Chicago. They found that while simply prohibiting drugs to some extent does raise their prices, there’s no good evidence that tougher punishments or harsher supply elimination efforts do a better job of driving down access to drugs and substance misuse than lighter penalties. So increasing the severity of the punishment doesn’t do much, if anything, to slow the flow of drugs.

U.S. President Donald Trump participates in the U.S. Coast Guard Change-of-Command ceremony at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis © Catalyst Images U.S. President Donald Trump participates in the U.S. Coast Guard Change-of-Command ceremony at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Broader evaluations have found mass incarceration has only a small effect on crime. A 2015 review of the research by the Brennan Center for Justice estimated that more incarceration explained about 0 to 7 percent of the crime drop since the 1990s, though other researchers estimate it drove 10 to 25 percent of the crime drop since the ’90s.

Another review of the research, published in 2017, led researcher David Roodman at the Open Philanthropy Project to conclude that “tougher sentences hardly deter crime, and that while imprisoning people temporarily stops them from committing crime outside prison walls, it also tends to increase their criminality after release.”

To that last point, the National Institute of Justice declared in 2016, “Research has found evidence that prison can exacerbate, not reduce, recidivism. Prisons themselves may be schools for learning to commit crimes.”

President Donald Trump, center, accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn outside the Oval Office in Washington, Friday, June 1, 2018, after meeting with former North Korean military intelligence chief Kim Yong Chol. After the meeting Trump announced that the Summit with North Korea will go forward. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) © Catalyst Images President Donald Trump, center, accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn outside the Oval Office in Washington, Friday, June 1, 2018, after meeting with former North Korean military intelligence chief Kim Yong Chol. After the meeting Trump announced that the Summit with North Korea will go forward. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Trump and Sessions, however, have rejected the overall evidence. They argue that tougher prison sentences not only keep dangerous people out of society but also deter others from committing crimes.

So what explains the contradiction? Part of it may be nepotism — Trump has a history of trying to reward people who say nice things about him or are polite to him in person. But part of it may also be that this is one of the few areas where Trump actually feels effective as president, the Post reported:

Trump entered the White House expecting to have few limits on his power — envisioning the presidency as more like his private business than a plodding bureaucracy. He has grown frustrated over what he views as Republican impotence on Capitol Hill, Mueller’s sprawling investigation and a coterie of aides at times riven by infighting.

But on pardons, he has been able to act unchecked, and has recently even floated the idea that he has authority to pardon himself, though suggested he will not do so. “As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?” he wrote on Twitter Monday.

Trump has already pardoned political allies like former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza, as well as posthumously pardoning heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson after actor Sylvester Stallone personally lobbied for it. And he’s considering pardons of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who’s in prison for corruption, and Martha Stewart; Blagojevich appeared on Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice, and Stewart hosted a spinoff of the same show.

Meanwhile, the people who may be in similar situations with the federal criminal justice system — but don’t have personal ties to Trump — are unlikely to receive any relief from the president.

The federal system locks up a lot of people for drugs

The federal prison system is uniquely punitive when it comes to drugs. Based on the latest federal data, nearly 48 percent of people in the federal prison system are in for drug crimes. In comparison, around 15 percent of inmates in state prisons are in for drug offenses.

The impact of these sentences is felt disproportionately by people of color. Although black communities aren’t more likely to use or sell drugs, they are much more likely to be arrested and incarcerated for drug offenses. And according to a 2017 report by the US Sentencing Commission, black men got nearly 18 percent longer federal sentences for drug trafficking as similarly situated white men from 2011 to 2016.

a screenshot of a cell phone © Joe Posner/Vox

Statistics like these and cases like Johnson’s are an easy point of attack for people who want to undo mass incarceration. There are nonviolent offenses, absurdly long sentences, racial disparities, and evidence that the punitive approach doesn’t do much, if anything, to keep the public safe.

At the same time, it’s important to look past the federal prison system and drug offenses if the goal is to truly undo mass incarceration.

For one, far more people are in prison for violent offenses than drug crimes. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, around 21 percent of people in jail or prison are in there for a drug crime. About 42 percent of people in jail or prison are in there for violent crimes — making violent offenses the biggest driver of incarceration out of all offense categories.

a close up of text on a black background © Prison Policy Initiative

How can this be if so many people are in federal prison for drug offenses? The reality is that the federal system makes up a relatively small slice of the US prison system.

Consider the numbers: According to federal data, 87 percent of US prison inmates are held in state facilities — and most state inmates are in for violent, not drug, crimes. That doesn’t even account for local jails, where hundreds of thousands of people are held on a typical day in America. Just look at this chart from the Prison Policy Initiative, which shows both local jails and state prisons far outpacing the number of people incarcerated in federal prisons:

a screenshot of a cell phone: A chart showing most incarceration happens at the state and local level. © Prison Policy Initiative A chart showing most incarceration happens at the state and local level.

One way to think about this is what would happen if Trump used his pardon powers to their maximum potential — meaning he pardoned every single person in federal prison right now. That would push down America’s overall incarcerated population from about 2.1 million to about 1.9 million.

That would be a hefty reduction. But it also wouldn’t undo mass incarceration, as the US would still lead all but one country in incarceration: With an incarceration rate of around 593 per 100,000 people, only the small nation of El Salvador would come out ahead — and America would still dwarf the incarceration rates of other developed nations like Canada (114 per 100,000), Germany (78 per 100,000), and Japan (45 per 100,000).

Similarly, almost all police work is done at the local and state level. There are about 18,000 law enforcement agencies in America, only a dozen or so of which are federal agencies.

While the federal government can incentivize states to adopt specific criminal justice policies, studies show that previous efforts, such as the 1994 federal crime law, had little to no impact. By and large, it seems local municipalities and states will only embrace federal incentives on criminal justice issues if they actually want to adopt the policies being encouraged.

Criminal justice reform, then, is going to fall largely to municipalities and states. Many of these jurisdictions are actually way ahead of the federal government when it comes to criminal justice reform, with many passing the kinds of sentencing reforms for low-level offenses that the federal system has struggled to enact. But there’s been little focus at any level on reform for violent offenses.

That’s not to downplay the work of criminal justice reformers. But the effects of such efforts will be limited until lawmakers and advocates look beyond the war on drugs.

Sylvester Stallone under investigation by Los Angeles DA for sexual assault .
A sexual assault allegation against Sylvester Stallone has been put in the hands of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. The Santa Monica Police Department passed on the case, the department confirmed to the Daily News Wednesday.&nbsp;The Santa Monica Police Department passed on the case, the department confirmed to the Daily News Wednesday.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!