Johnson, a criminal justice reform advocate, was serving a life sentence without parole for her involvement in a nonviolent federal drug case until it was commuted June 2018. Her story gained national attention after reality star Kim Kardashian West advocated for her release from prison.
Since then, she has become a senior fellow with the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Right on Crime initiative. The following year, Trump invited Johnson to his State of the Union address, where she received a standing ovation.
In this image from video, Alice Johnson speaks from Washington, during the fourth night of the Republican National Convention on Aug. 27. (Courtesy of the Committee on Arrangements for the 2020 Republican National Committee via AP)
On Friday, he went a step further, announcing that he would fully pardon her. “Alice was given a life sentence, and you spent about 22 years, and for something that today a lot of people wouldn’t even be going to jail for,” Trump said in a press briefing. “I’m so proud of you, and we are giving Alice a full pardon. I just told her.”
Following the announcement, Pastor Robert Jeffress led a group prayer thanking the president for his work and asking for blessings for Johnson.
She spoke Thursday night at the Republican National Convention, praising Trump for pushing criminal justice reform and giving her “a second chance.”
“I was once told that the only way I would ever be reunited with my family would be as a corpse,” Johnson said. “But by the grace of God and the compassion of President Donald John Trump, I stand before you tonight, and I assure you, I’m not a ghost!”
“I am alive, I am well, and most important, I am free,” she added. “We’ve all made mistakes, and none of us want to be defined forever based on our worst decision.”
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Danielle Genovese and the Associated Press contributed to this report.