Kim Kardashian celebrates as Donald Trump pardons jailed drugs gran Alice Johnson after she campaigned for release

The reality star had a meeting with Trump last week at the White House after championing the 63-year-old's cause.

Alice Marie Johnson has spent more than two decades behind bars and was not eligible for parole after being convicted for a first-time drugs offence.

But after speaking with Kim on what was Johnson's birthday, Trump issued a pardon for her drugs offences.

Kim tweeted: "So grateful to @realDonaldTrump, Jared Kushner & to everyone who has showed compassion & contributed countless hours to this important moment for Ms. Alice Marie Johnson.

"Her commutation is inspirational & gives hope to so many others who are also deserving of a second chance.

"I hope to continue this important work by working together with organizations who have been fighting this fight for much longer than I have and deserve the recognition."

The White House said of Johnson: "[She] has accepted responsibility for her past behaviour and has been a model prisoner.

"Despite receiving a life sentence, Alice worked hard to rehabilitate herself in prison, and act as a mentor to her fellow inmates."

It added Johnson's warden, case manager, and vocational training instructor had written letters in support.

A statement from spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders added: "While this Administration will always be very tough on crime, it believes that those who have paid their debt to society and worked hard to better themselves while in prison deserve a second chance."

How does pardoning work?

The US President has the power to “grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment”, according to Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution.

In order to be pardoned, the person convicted of a federal crime needs to make a request to the Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney to start the process, according to PBS.

The department advises convicted criminals to wait at least five years after their conviction, or release, before filing a pardon application.

Once a request has been made, the office will then make a recommendation about whether a pardon is warranted.

Officials look at the person’s conduct following their conviction, the seriousness of their crime and whether they have accepted responsibility for their actions.

Prosecutors involved in the case are asked for their opinion before the pardon report is forwarded to the deputy attorney general who then adds their recommendation.

It is at this point when the final report is handed to the US President for a decision.

Johnson was convicted in 1996 on eight criminal counts related to a Memphis-based cocaine trafficking operation involving more than a dozen people.

She was sentenced to life in prison in 1997, and appeals court judges and the Supreme Court rejected her appeals.

In an interview with Mic, Kim said she was moved by Johnson's story after seeing a video on her efforts to get out of prison.

She said: "I think that she really deserves a second chance at life. I'll do whatever it takes to get her out."

Trump also recently pardoned conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza, who was convicted of a campaign finance violation.

He also granted a posthumous pardon to boxing's first black heavyweight champion, clearing Jack Johnson's name more than 100 years after what many saw as a racially charged conviction.

The boxer's pardon had been championed by actor Sylvester Stallone, who Trump said had brought the story to his attention in a phone call.

Trump has also pardoned former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a staunch campaign supporter, Scooter Libby, who served as chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney; and a U.S. Navy sailor convicted of taking photos of classified portions of a sub.

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