Alice Johnson, who was sentenced to life in prison for a first-time nonviolent drug offense and was pardoned by President Donald Trump in 2018, said at the Republican National Committee’s 2020 convention that “by the grace of God and the compassion of President Donald John Trump, I stand before you tonight.”
“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 importantly, I am free.”
Johnson also told Breitbart News that she hoped her remarks at the convention would share the story of how important giving people second chances are.
“I am honored to share my story at the president’s convention,” Johnson told Breitbart News. “For those who will be listening, I hope my story reminds us all that true justice must honor and provide mercy for those caught up in the system who deserve a chance at redemption, just like the president provided for me.”
“I told those men and women I left behind that I would be their voice and fight for them, whenever and wherever. And there are a lot of deserving people still in prison. I am grateful to the president for giving me a second chance at life and allowing me to share my story and mission on this stage.”
Johnson, who is now working as a criminal reform advocate, shared her story in her remarks.
“Some say, ‘You do the crime. You do the time,’” Johnson said. “However, that time should be fair and just. We’ve all made mistakes. None of us want to be defined forever based on our worst decision.”
“While in prison, I became a playwright, a mentor, a certified hospice volunteer, an ordained minister, and received the Special Olympics Event Coordinator of the Year award for my work with disabled women,” Johnson said. “Because the only thing worse than unjustly imprisoning my body, is trying to imprison my mind.”
“My transformation was described as ‘extraordinary,’” Johnson said. “Truth is, there are thousands of people just like me, who deserve the opportunity to come home.”
Johnson praised Trump not only for pardoning her but for getting legislation passed to help others.
“Six months after President Trump granted me a second chance, he signed the First Step Act into law. It was real justice reform,” Johnson said. “And it brought joy, hope, and freedom to thousands of well-deserving people.”
“The nearly 22 years I spent in prison were not wasted. God had a purpose and plan for my life,” Johnson said. “I was not delayed or denied; I was destined for such a time as this.”
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.