Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Trump Reviewing 3000 Pardons, Including Muhammad Ali But Not O.J. Simpson

Trump Reviewing 3000 Pardons, Including Muhammad Ali But Not O.J. Simpson

President Trump said Friday morning he was considering posthumously pardoning boxing icon Muhammad Ali.

"We appreciate President Trump's statement, but a pardon is unnecessary", he said.

Mr Trump has already granted a posthumous pardon to boxing's first black heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson, more than 100 years after what many saw as his racially charged conviction. He appealed that conviction to the Supreme Court, which ruled he was entitled to conscientious objector status and overturned the conviction in an 8-0 decision. But to pardon someone, they need to have a conviction on the books, and Muhammad Ali's conviction hasn't existed since 1971. "And some others and some folks who have sentences that aren t fair", Trump told reporters at the White House before heading to Canada for the G7 summit. And Trump said he's thinking about soliciting recommendations about other cases to consider from pro football players and other athletes who have protested racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem - a tactic Trump has fiercely denounced.

Ali was convicted of draft evasion and lost his heavyweight champion title in 1967. Just this week, he commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a 65-year-old woman who had been serving a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense. But his real motive seems to be pardoning his favorite person of all - himself.

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter, on his first day in office, issued a blanket pardon for all of the hundreds of thousands of US men who evaded the draft during the Vietnam War.

A posthumous pardon - as would be the case with Ali - is completely symbolic.

The Supreme Court overturned the professional boxer's conviction in 1971.

"I'm not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over", Ali said, according to one historical account.

Trump said Friday that he is considering 3,000 people for pardons.

"I ain't got nothing against them Viet Cong", he told reporters.

He also issued a pardon to Dick Cheney s former chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who was convicted of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in connection with the leak of a Central Intelligence Agency operative s identity.

Asked if non-celebrities - or those without celebrity advocates - had a chance at receiving clemency, Trump acknowledged that many applicants had been "treated unfairly".

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