Mogul and reality star Kim Kardashian West is fighting for Alice Marie Johnson's freedom — apparently, all the way to the White House.
According to Mic, who reached out to representatives for Kardashian, she and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, son-in-law of current POTUS Donald Trump, have spoken about a possible presidential pardon for the grandmother.
Johnson, who is 62, is currently serving a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offence — a sentence she began in 1996. She is just one of many people of colour behind bars for life for a nonviolent drug offence.
According to statistics from the NAACP, African Americans and whites use drugs at similar rates, but the imprisonment rate of African Americans for drug charges is almost six times that of their white peers. Per the Mic video that Kardashian shared in October of 2017, Johnson is just one of 3,278 people serving life without parole for a nonviolent offence. Per Mic, 79% are for drug charges, and 60% are Black.
In November of 2017, the NY Daily News reported that Kardashian has recruited her lawyer Shawn Holley to help the clemency campaigns of Cyntoia Brown and Alice Johnson. (Brown was arrested in 2004 for the murder of a 43-year-old man and was sentenced to life in prison. Defenders of Brown, however, state that she was a victim of sex trafficking.)
The news of Kardashian connecting with advisors at the White House for a potential presidential pardon comes not long after her husband, Kanye West, sparked controversy for stating that he "loved" Donald Trump. During the 2016 election, Kardashian confirmed her support of Hillary Clinton.
No matter what side of the political spectrum one falls on, Kardashian is advocating for something that is often elusive in the criminal justice system, especially for people of colour — justice itself.