President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign aired a TV ad during the first commercial break of the Super Bowl LIV on Sunday night, Feb. 2, highlighting his work to successfully pass criminal justice reform.
The 30-second ad featured Alice Johnson, a 63-year-old great-grandmother who had been sentenced to life in prison for a nonviolent drug offense. After 21 years behind the bars, she was granted clemency thanks to the First Step Act that President Trump supported and signed into law late in 2018.
“I’m free to hug my family; I’m free to start over,” Johnson said, in an emotional moment where she reunited with her family. “This is the greatest day of my life. My heart is just bursting with gratitude. I want to thank President Donald John Trump.”
“Politicians talk about criminal justice reform,” the ad’s text reads. “President Trump got it done. Thousands of families are being reunited.”
In a follow-up tweet, President Trump touted his promise to “restore hope in America” which “includes the least among us.”
Johnson celebrated the moment again and vowed to fight for those who were wrongfully convicted as her story was broadcast nationally.
“Two Super Bowls ago I was sitting in a prison cell,” she wrote on Twitter. “Today I am a free woman and my story was featured in a Super Bowl Ad. I will spend the rest of my life fighting for the wrongly and unjustly convicted! God Bless America!”
Two Super Bowls ago I was sitting in a prison cell.
Today I am a free woman and my story was featured in a Super Bowl Ad.
I will spend the rest of my life fighting for the wrongly and unjustly convicted!
God Bless America! pic.twitter.com/CGSyk54O37
— Alice Marie Johnson (@AliceMarieFree) February 3, 2020
Johnson is one of thousands of people who benefited from the First Step Act. More than 3,000 inmates have been released and another roughly 1,700 people convicted of drug offenses have seen their sentences reduced thanks to the reform, according to data from the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
The law also provides inmates with opportunities to take part in drug treatment programs, vocational training, and education to help them obtain a second chance and jobs after their release.