Jared Kushner, who serves as senior adviser to his father-in-law President Donald Trump, was among those who met with Kim Kardashian to help free Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old grandmother who was serving a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense. Johnson spent 20 years in prison before Trump commuted her sentence. Kushner is now set to expand on that victory and aggressively lobby Trump to pardon more people, specifically rappers.
The need for prison reform is of course not a new issue, but there was a resurgence of the outcry last year after rapper Meek Mill received a two-to-four-year prison sentence for violating probation in a nearly decade-old case. Multiple rallies were held and petitions were signed for what many considered an egregious sentence. Meek has since been released, but his highly publicized legal battle and the flaws within the system were highlighted, as well as how much minorities are disproportionally affected by these flaws. NFL players have also shined a light on this issue, led by quarterback Colin Kaepernick who began kneeling during the national anthem to protest against racism, oppression, police brutality, and injustices in the system.
Kushner, who is trying to repair his reputational damage with liberals, believes taking on this cause will fair well in his quest. According to Vanity Fair, Kushner has reportedly encouraged Trump to release incarcerated hip-hop stars, after Kim Kardashian allegedly gave Kushner a list of people who she believed should be pardoned. "They’re going to be pardoning a lot of people—pardons that even Obama wouldn’t do,” said a person who spoke with Kushner.
Trump, who often laments about the bad press he receives, was reportedly happy with all the praise he got for releasing Johnson. “Trump was pleasantly surprised,” CNN host and criminal-justice reform advocate Van Jones said. “I hope the president feels encouraged to do more.”
It's unclear which rappers made Kardashian's list, but fans have been clamoring for the release of artists like Bobby Shmurda, Max B, C-Murder, and more.
Source: Vanity Fair