Donald Trump Considering Posthumous Pardon to Boxer Jack Johnson

by Abel Hampton April 23, 2018, 9:27
Donald Trump Considering Posthumous Pardon to Boxer Jack Johnson

US President Donald Trump may overturn a century-old conviction which saw the first African American heavyweight boxing champion of the world who many believe was locked up on a racially-motivated charge.

Chastised for his relationships - each of his three wives were white - Johnson was found guilty in 1913 of violating the Mann Act, a law which prevented the transport of women across state lines for an "immoral objective".

"Sylvester Stallone referred to as me with the story of heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson", the president tweeted Saturday.

Said Trump: "His trials and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial", Trump wrote from his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. "Others have looked at this over the years, most thought it would be done, but yes, I am considering a Full Pardon!". Boxing businesspeople were hoping to find the "Great White Hope" to defeat the black boxer.

In 2016, then-Sen. Harry Reid and Sen. Johnson, an African American, was traveling with his girlfriend, who was white, and interracial relationships were illegal during the Jim Crow era.

Trump has issued three pardons: To Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, convicted of racial profiling of Latinos in his districts; to Kristian Saucier, convicted of taking photos in a nuclear submarine, thus violating secrecy; and recently for Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who was convicted for leaking the name of Central Intelligence Agency agent Valerie Plame. Johnson's victory over Jeffries, a white boxer, led to deadly race riots.

In 1920, Johnson turned himself over to United States authorities at the Mexican border and served 10 months in prison. He served one year in federal prison.

She said her family never talked about the champ.

Johnson, a boxing legend and major figure in 20th century sports, bucked racial barriers and racism until his death in 1946. He was convicted, and said, "They crucified Christ".

The House and Senate previously passed resolutions to posthumously pardon Johnson, but no president has granted the pardon.

Posthumous pardons are rare, but not unprecedented.

Haywood wanted Barack Obama, the nation's first black president, to pardon Johnson, but Justice Department policy says "processing posthumous pardon petitions is grounded in the belief that the time of the officials involved in the clemency process is better spent on the pardon and commutation requests of living persons". Bush pardoned Charles Winters in 2008, an American volunteer in the Arab-Israeli War convicted of violating the U.S. Neutrality Acts in 1949.


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