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Trump Offers to Pardon Muhammad Ali - Why Boxing Champ's Lawyer Says It's 'Unnecessary'

06-08-2018

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump said he may soon issue a posthumous pardon to boxing champ Muhammad Ali.

"He was, look, he was not very popular then; certainly his memory is popular now," Trump said.

Ali's attorney was quick to thank the president but added that a pardon is "unnecessary."

"The US Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Muhammad Ali in a unanimous decision in 1971," Ali's attorney, Ron Tweel, said in a statement. "There is no conviction from which a pardon is needed."

In 1967, Ali was convicted for refusing to report to the US military for the Vietnam War – a decision US Supreme Court overturned four years later.

Ali passed away in 2016.

Trump's remarks come two days after he commuted the sentence Wednesday of a 63-year-old woman serving a life sentence for drug offenses.

Alice Marie Johnson has spent the last two decades behind bars and is not eligible for parole.
 
The decision to pardon her came after reality TV star Kim Kardashian-West paid a visit to the White House to plead the great-grandmother's case.

The commutation, which is different than a pardon, puts a renewed focus on the Trump administration's push for prison and sentencing reform.

The commander in chief says he is now looking at pardons for "people that are unfairly treated, like Alice."

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