WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Trump commuted her life sentence last year, and Tuesday night Alice Marie Johnson was his guest at the State of the Union address.
The president shared Johnson’s story to convey the importance of reforming the criminal justice system – and getting people out of the nation’s prisons.
Watch: President Trump tells Alice Marie Johnson's story during SOTU address
Justin Gray spoke to Johnson, of Memphis, ahead of the SOTU address.
“I promised the women when I left there that I will never stop fighting for them,” Johnson said.
63-year-old Alice Marie Johnson explained that she now has a mission. That mission brought her to the White House and got her a seat in the First Lady’s box as a guest of the president.
In 2018, reality TV star Kim Kardashian traveled to Washington, D.C. to personally lobby President Trump on Johnson’s behalf. Johnson was serving a mandatory life sentence on nonviolent drug charges.
PHOTOS & STORY: Kim Kardashian meets Alice Johnson in Memphis area
It was Johnson’s first offense, but she was convicted and served 21 years in prison. She got out in June 2018 after her sentence was commuted.
“(President Trump) looked at my case and he was who I was as a person, and not just what had been written on some paper about me,” Johnson explained.
For Johnson, it has been quite a journey – from prisoner just eight months ago to a presidential guest on one of the country’s biggest stages.
The First Step Act was signed into law in December 2018. It aims to reduce the number of people in the nation’s prisons.
President Trump highlighted the bipartisan success during the State of the Union Address.
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