Woman granted clemency by Trump brings criminal justice message to Nashville event

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A woman granted clemency by President Trump made a plea for criminal justice reform today in Tennessee.

With her high profile release from prison, Memphis native Alice Johnson has become a symbol for nationwide criminal justice reform.

Ever since President Trump commuted her drug-trafficking life sentence last year after her case was championed by reality-star Kim Kardashian, Johnson has had plenty to say about criminal justice reform and those like her in prison.

“I was a productive citizen. I worked all of my life and i made a mistake, says Johnson. “But that mistake should not have cost me the rest of my life–a first offense and there are so many others like me, both men and women.”

She brought her message of changing sentencing guidelines to a Nashville criminal justice reform conference.

It was sponsored by the prison ministry group called Men of Valor whose board members have included Governor Bill Lee.

Johnson also met privately with the governor in June.

The former inmate says she told Lee about those arrested who have been damaged by the bail system.

“A bail was set for them and because they could not make the bail and later on they were not even convicted, but in the process they lost their families, their children, their housing because they simply could not make bail,” said Johnson to reporters after the event.

Johnson is also an advocate for restoring voting right for convicted felons who have served their time.    

Governor Lee and Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Jack Jackson along with several other lawmakers are at the conference tonight.

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