Kim Kardashian is helping a grandmother behind bars. The reality star has reportedly enlisted a lawyer to help free 62-year-old Alice Marie Johnson, who is serving a lengthy life sentence for being involved in a cocaine ring. Johnson shared her appreciation for Kardashian in a thank-you letter obtained by TMZ.
"Ms. Kardashian you are literally helping to save my life and restore me to my family. I was drowning and you have thrown me a life jacket and given me hope," she wrote in the note. Per the note, Kardashian hired attorney Shawn Holley on behalf of Johnson.
"I believe that history will record that Kim Kardashian had the courage to take a stand against human warehousing and was a key figure in meaningful criminal justice reform becoming a reality," wrote Johnson. "THE BATTLE IS ON!"
Johnson's case has been highly publicized given her significant sentencing for drug and money laundering charges. As Mic reported in 2013, Johnson was sentenced to life in prison in the late 1990s. The sentence — without parole — was mandatory, despite the fact that Johnson was a first-time, nonviolent offender. The New York Post added that she got the sentence for holding money and passing messages in the cocaine ring, not actually selling drugs.
Johnson was a single mother with five children at the time.
"There is no light at the end of the tunnel," Johnson's eldest daughter, Tretessa, told Mic. "It’s like a waking death, it’s like the person is alive but they’re not. There’s never a point of closure, ever. It’s heartbreaking for me."
Last year, Johnson wrote an op-ed in CNN and asked President Barack Obama for clemency: "I am only one of thousands of first-time, nonviolent offenders given a mandatory and lengthy prison terms after committing a crime under financial distress."
She added that the laws have changed, and the same crime would be punished less harshly today: "I want this part to be clear: I acknowledge that I have done wrong. I made the biggest mistake of my life to make ends meet and got involved with people selling drugs."
Johnson explained that she has become an ordained minister and mentor in prison. She has a job secured if she gets released and wants to continue to help change the justice system.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.