AS the President of the United States, Donald Trump has the power to pardon and free people convicted of crimes.
Here’s what we know about Trump’s pardoning powers.
Could Donald Trump pardon Kevin Cooper?
Kevin Cooper is facing execution for the murders of four people in California in 1983.
After successfully lobbying Trump to free Alice Marie Johnson, Kim Kardashian-West has now set her sights on helping Cooper.
Kim has been urged California’s governor Edmund “Jerry” Brown to retest DNA evidence in the 35-year-old case.
The reality TV superstar joins advocates who argue that the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department tampered with DNA evidence to frame Cooper.
In theory, the US President has the power to pardon Cooper.
But it can be a lengthy process, and so far he’s not said anything about Cooper at all.
Without Trump’s intervention the best hope for Cooper is for governor Brown to retest the DNA evidence.
Did he pardon Alice Marie Johnson?
Alice Marie Johnson, 63, was arrested alongside 15 others on drug charges in 1993.
The first time offender was jailed for life without parole in 1997 on money laundering and drug conspiracy charges.
According to the US Constitution, the US President holds the power to pardon anyone – “except in Cases of Impeachment” – convicted of a federal crime.
Johnson met the criteria for former President Barack Obama’s Clemency Project 2014 but was turned down for release just days before the end of his term.
The White House said in a statement: “Ms Johnson has accepted responsibility for her past behaviour and has been a model prisoner over the past two decades.
“Despite receiving a life sentence, Alice worked hard to rehabilitate herself in prison, and act as a mentor to her fellow inmates.”
Could Trump pardon Paul Manafort?
Donald Trump is allegedly considering pardoning his former campaign manager Paul Manafort, after he was convicted of bank and tax fraud, according to a Fox News reporter.
Manafort was convicted on August 21 of two counts of bank fraud, five counts of tax fraud and one charge of failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.
He now faces a jail term.
In a tweet on Wednesday about the verdict, Trump called Manafort a “brave man” and said, “I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family.”
Has Trump pardoned anyone else?
In May 2018, President Trump pardoned former heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson.
Johnson, the first African American heavyweight boxing champion, was arrested and jailed in 2012 for transporting a white woman – who he would later marry – across state lines for “immoral purposes”.
The conviction, for which the athlete would serve a year in prison, was widely seen as being racially motivated.
On May 31, 2018, Trump pardoned conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza, who was jailed in 2014 for funnelling illegal campaign contributions to a Republican Senate candidate.
On Twitter, Trump said that D’Souza “was treated very unfairly by our government!”
There are also reports he may pardon Martha Stewart – who was convicted for conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making false statements to investigators back in 2004.
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How does pardoning work?
The US President has the power to “grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment”, according to Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution.
In order to be pardoned, the person convicted of a federal crime needs to make a request to the Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney to start the process, according to PBS.
The department advises convicted criminals to wait at least five years after their conviction, or release, before filing a pardon application.
Once a request has been made, the office will then make a recommendation about whether a pardon is warranted.
Officials look at the person’s conduct following their conviction, the seriousness of their crime and whether they have accepted responsibility for their actions.
Prosecutors involved in the case are asked for their opinion before the pardon report is forwarded to the deputy attorney general who then adds their recommendation.
It is at this point when the final report is handed to the US President for a decision.