- Courtesy of Amy Povah and Clemency for All Nonviolent Drug Offenders (CAN-DO).
- Alice Marie Johnson, whose life sentence for nonviolent drug offenses was commuted by President Donald Trump, was released from prison Wednesday afternoon.
- Footage from local news crews showed Johnson racing toward her family and friends who had arrived at the Aliceville correctional facility in Alabama to greet her.
- Johnson told Business Insider just 24 hours ago that she had been holding her breath and “won’t let go until I walk out of these doors!”
- She learned the news of her commutation on Wednesday during an emotional phone call with Kim Kardashian West, who had raised her case directly with Trump.
Alice Marie Johnson, who this week received a sentence commutation from President Donald Trump, was released from prison Wednesday afternoon.
The local NBC affiliate WVTM-13 captured the moment the 63-year-old grandmother was released from prison, as she raced toward a group of her family members and friends who had arrived to greet her.
Watch the video below:
Alice Johnson, the moment she was released from prison and reunited with her family pic.twitter.com/qRi9HhI0JY
— #WVTM13 (@WVTM13) June 6, 2018
Johnson’s case caught nationwide attention last year, with the reality-television star Kim Kardashian West taking notice of her case and retaining an attorney to help her clemency bid.
Johnson learned the news of her clemency on Wednesday, during an emotional conference call with Kardashian West and her legal team.
“I just got off the most wonderful, emotional, and amazing phone call with Alice, Kim, and Alice’s lawyers,” Kardashian West’s attorney Shawn Holley told Business Insider in a statement. “It was a moment I will never forget. Once Alice’s family joined the call, the tears never stopped flowing.”
Johnson was given a life sentence with no possibility of parole in 1996 for first-time, nonviolent drug crimes. Her case became a rallying cry in recent years for critics of the criminal-justice system who have held her up as an example of overzealous drug sentencing and the epitome of a reformed, rehabilitated prisoner ready to reenter society.
Johnson’s daughter Catina Scales spoke with Business Insider earlier on Wednesday, as she was en route to pick her mother up from the Aliceville correctional facility in Alabama.
“I have been literally shaking ever since I heard this news – this is the best present anyone could have gave me in my life,” Scales said. “Nothing will ever trump this feeling.”
Johnson herself told Business Insider just one day earlier that she had been waiting with bated breath for news about her case since Trump and Kardashian West’s meeting.
“I’m still waiting to exhale!” she said in an email from prison, roughly 24 hours before she was released. “I’m hanging in here and won’t let go until I walk out of these doors!”