Trump’s pardons are not policies for the African American community

We should never confuse the political use of pardons with policymaking. Seeking higher approval ratings among blacks through pardons can never stand in for bad criminal justice, housing, and education policy.

On Wednesday, June 7, President Donald Trump commuted the life sentence of Alice Johnson, 63, who was convicted for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense. Through the executive powers of the president, Trump can pardon people, dead or alive, who are serving or have served federal sentences. After a video produced by the online magazine Mic went viral, Johnson became a symbol of the more than 3,200 people who are serving life sentences for nonviolent offenses, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Blacks are 13 percent of the population but count as 50 percent among that…

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