After years of failed attempts, Alice Marie Johnson is finally free, thanks to Kim Kardashian West.
Wednesday evening, Johnson was released from federal prison just hours after her life sentence was commuted by President Donald Trump.
In footage obtained from Alabama news station WVTM-13, a visibly overjoyed Johnson can be seen running toward her family, throwing her arms open and embracing them in front of a crowd of spectators and press.
The 63-year-old spent over two decades behind bars, serving life without parole for drug offenses. But last week Kardashian West was spotted meeting with President Trump at the White House, on Johnson’s birthday, to discuss prison reform and make a plea for her release.
Her release was initially confirmed by Jennifer Turner of the American Civil Liberties Union, who is part of Johnson’s legal team.
Another attorney, Brittany K. Barnett, said earlier today that the grandmother felt overwhelmed with emotion and like she’d been “resurrected from the dead.”
Shawn Holley, who accompanied Kardashian West to the White House last week, says that Kardashian West was the one who told Johnson she was being released in a phone call.
Holley says in a statement that she, “just got off the most wonderful, emotional and amazing phone call with Alice, Kim and Alice’s lawyers.”
She says that once Johnson’s family joined the call, “the tears never stopped flowing.”
Johnson has served more than two decades in federal prison for drug offenses.
Alice Johnson, the moment she was released from prison and reunited with her family pic.twitter.com/qRi9HhI0JY
— #WVTM13 (@WVTM13) June 6, 2018
The White House said in a statement that she “has accepted responsibility for her past behavior and has been a model prisoner over the past two decades,” working to rehabilitate herself and acting as a mentor to fellow inmates.
They also acknowledged that her warden, case manager, and vocational training instructor had all written glowing letters in support of her clemency.
When the decision was announced Kardashian tweeted “BEST NEWS EVER!!!!”
This move comes amid a flurry of pardons issued by Trump, with some speculating that the president seems particularly drawn to causes advocated by conservatives, celebrities and/or contestants who have appeared on his former reality show, “The Apprentice.”
BEST NEWS EVER!!!! ?????? https://t.co/JUbpbE1Bk0
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 6, 2018