President Trump May Pardon Late Boxing Champ Muhammad Ali

Geneva Stokes
June 8, 2018

US President Donald Trump said on Friday he is considering pardoning some 3,000 people, including the late boxing champion Muhammad Ali, whose conviction for refusing to join the US military during the Vietnam War was later vacated by the US Supreme Court.

Ali was immediately stripped of his heavyweight title and convicted of draft evasion.

Mr Trump made the comments to reporters at the White House before he left for the G7 summit in Canada. "I'm thinking about that very seriously and some others", he reportedly said. However, the Supreme Court ruled in his favor in 1971, ending his legal battle. "His memory is very popular now, I'm thinking about Muhammad Ali".

Ali's attorney on Friday said the sentiment was appreciated, but a posthumous pardon was "unnecessary".

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Should Trump decide to issue a pardon to Ali, it wouldn't make much a difference in terms of Ali's record as former President Jimmy Carter issued a blanket pardon to draft evaders who requested a pardon. "There is no conviction from which a pardon is needed", he said.

Earlier this week, Trump commuted the life sentence for Alice Marie Johnson, who was serving a life sentence for a first-time nonviolent drug offense, after a high-profile campaign for clemency by reality television star Kim Kardashian West.

President Trump's reported obsession with his pardoning power shows no sign of letting up.

Trump has also previously floated pardoning Martha Stewart and a commuting the 14-year sentence for ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. I understand that. I'm going to ask them to recommend to me people that were unfairly treated.

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