Donald Trump Thinking “Very Seriously” About Pardoning Muhammad Ali, Who Has No Criminal Record
Back in May, President Donald Trump called Jack Johnson “a truly great fighter” who “had a tough life” but served 10 months in federal prison “for what many view as a racially motivated injustice.” He then granted a posthumous pardon to the boxer on the advice of actor Sylvester Stallone.
Everyone is well aware of Muhammad Ali and what he did in the boxing ring, but not many realize he was was convicted in 1967 after refusing military service in Vietnam. On Friday, the President floated the idea of pardoning the now-deceased boxing champ.
“I’m thinking about Muhammad Ali. I’m thinking about that very seriously and some others,” Trump said, while speaking to reporters at the White House before departing for the Group of Seven summit. “And some folks that have sentences that aren’t fair.”
Sounds like a wonderful plan for a wonderful man. Only problem here is that Ali’s conviction was already overturned 47 years ago.
In a statement, Ali’s attorney, Ron Tweel, said that although he appreciated “President Trump’s sentiment, but a pardon is unnecessary.”
“The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Muhammad Ali in a unanimous decision in 1971. There is no conviction from which a pardon is needed,” he said.
— Tre Ward (@TreWardWLKY) June 8, 2018
Trump told reporters that the legendary boxer is just one of 3,000 names he’s considering pardoning, because “many of those names really have been treated unfairly.”
Although Trump’s statement about being treated unfairly was true, his willingness to pardon something that isn’t there is not.