63-year old grandmother thanks God and the President for a second chance at life, says her faith kept her going though one third of her life was spent behind bars
Fox News reported early Friday about the commutation of 63 year old Alice Marie Johnson's life sentence (without parole) and the release of this woman from prison where she had spent 22 years of her life. The President commuted the sentence after socialite celebrity Kim Kardashian West met with Mr. Trump a few days ago.
Mrs. Johnson's response? She was extremely grateful and spoke publicly promising the Commander-in-Chief, "I will make you proud."
I want this part to be clear: I acknowledge that I have done wrong. I made the biggest mistake of my life to make ends meet and got involved with people selling drugs.
This was a road I never dreamed of venturing down. I became what is called a telephone mule, passing messages between the distributors and sellers. I participated in a drug conspiracy, and I was wrong.
My trial took a toll on my family. At the time of my conviction, I had two children in college and a senior in high school. Bryant, the senior, ended up dropping out of school because of the trial. Tretessa had a good-paying job with Motorola and was flying down to support me. Members of the community were at my hearings encouraging me and hoping for the best.
But I was convicted on October 31, 1996 - and sentenced to life in prison. The day after my oldest son Charles "celebrated" his 20th birthday. It was his first birthday spent away from me. It's hard to imagine that I have now served 20 years of my life sentence for that one mistake.
However, Mrs. Johnson did not get bitter. She took responsibility for her crime and got to work. She became an ordained minister while in prison, mentoring other women who were convicted and serving sentences there.
Her faith kept her from giving in to the pressure of life "on the inside", and her own words best express her gratitude:
‘The only way that I was able to make it through that time, and this is the truth, was my faith in God.'
[Johnson] said she knew that one day, "He was going to bring me out."
Johnson continued, ‘I lived my life with an eye toward one day walking out of those doors a free woman and the day that I got the news that President Trump had granted my clemency and given me a second chance at life was the best day of my life.'
President Trump granted her clemency after a meeting with Kim Kardashian West, who had made Mrs. Johnson's cause her own.