Memphis' Alice Johnson recognized by President Trump during State of the Union address

Published: Feb. 6, 2019 at 12:19 PM EST
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Memphis’ Alice Johnson was in the spotlight Tuesday night during President Donald Trump’s second State of the Union address. As one of President Trump’s 13 guests for the speech, Johnson was front and center as the president touched on criminal justice reform.

President Trump granted Johnson clemency last June as she was serving a life sentence for her involvement in a cocaine drug trafficking ring in Memphis. 21 years into Johnson’s sentence, Kim Kardashian West latched onto her cause, calling for her sentence to be commuted. President Trump eventually agreed, considering Johnson was a first time, nonviolent offender.

Johnson says she is grateful for President Trump’s efforts, and says she is using this second chance to be a voice for women who are still serving time. She also says the bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation signed into law late last year, called the First Step Act, was just that: a first step. She says she plans to highlight the work yet to be done when it comes to criminal justice reform.

Watch the full one-on-one interview with Alice Johnson above.