Trump Is Considering Pardoning Muhammad Ali Even Though He Doesn't Need One
Trump, maybe you should consider pardoning Cyntoia Brown instead?
After granting a posthumous pardon to Jack Johnson, boxing’s first black heavyweight champion, as well as granting clemency for Alice Marie Johnson, the 63-year-old great-grandmother who was serving a life sentence without parole for a first-time nonviolent drug offense, Donald Trump is looking to pardon the late Muhammad Ali.
Speaking to reporters, Trump said that he was looking at “thousands of names” of people who could be granted clemency, and mentioned Ali specifically after being asked about future pardons, according to CBS News.
— WHAS11 News (@WHAS11) June 8, 2018
Following the news, Ali’s attorney, Ron Tweel, took to Twitter to say that the pardon was unnecessary.
“We appreciate President Trump’s sentiment, but a pardon is unnecessary,” Tweel wrote. “The U.S Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Muhammad Ali in a unanimous decision in 1971. There is no conviction from which a pardon is needed.”
Tweel wasn’t the only one who spoke against Trump’s pardon. Reverend Al Sharpton issued a statement where he said Trump’s “consideration of posthumous pardoning Muhammad Ali is nothing more than grandstanding and Muhammad Ali’s conviction, which was overturned in 1971, was based upon his beliefs and his religion and Trump can begin honoring by stopping engaging in anti-Muslim and Islamophobic policies and rhetoric. You can’t stand up for Islam while simultaneously denigrating it.”
Ali’s conviction stems from when Ali refused to enter the military and participate in the Vietnam War. The decision resulted in a draft-evasion conviction as well as Ali being stripped of his heavyweight boxing title. In 1971, the athlete’s conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court. He was also covered by President Carter’s 1977 amnesty for Americans who didn’t serve during the Vietnam War.
Trump recently signed a pardon granting clemency for Alice Johnson. Johnson is now set to be released from federal prison in Aliceville, Alabama, where she has been serving her sentence since 1996.
Source: CBS News