President Trump on Wednesday commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a woman serving a life term for a nonviolent crime, after meeting with reality television star and socialite Kim Kardashian West last week to discuss her case. The action was the latest in a recent string of pardons and other acts of clemency from Trump, and aides haves suggested that more could soon be on the way.
Just in case anyone is tempted to praise Trump for this, please don’t. Sure, Johnson deserved to have her sentence commuted in some way, and I’m happy for her personally. But Trump has turned the pardon power into a cynical PR tool and this is just more of the same. The pardon power isn’t meant to be a lottery played out at the whim of a man-child in the White House who’s discovered a shiny new toy.
Maybe it’s time to fix our justice system for everyone and repeal the presidential pardon power entirely. Enough’s enough.