Before Donald Trump was dismissed from the White House, he granted pardons to 73 individuals and commuted the sentences of an additional 70 individuals.
Some of the names most people probably aren’t aware of, but a few of the names stuck out:
Desiree Perez (CEO of Roc Nation)– She was one of the individuals on the list who received a full pardon from Trump. Ms. Perez was involved in a drug trafficking conspiracy, and has taken full responsibility for her conduct since her arrest and has turned her life around. She has been gainfully employed and has been an advocate in her community for criminal justice reform.
Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.- Also known as Lil’ Wayne, was another familiar name on Trump’s full pardon list. Mr. Carter pled guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, owing to a conviction over 10 years ago. Brett Berish of Sovereign Brands, who supports a pardon for Mr. Carter, describes him as “trustworthy, kind-hearted and generous.” He has exhibited his generosity through a commitment to various charities, including donations to research hospitals and a host of foodbanks. Also in support of Mr. Carter’s full pardon was Deion Sanders, who wrote that Wayne was “a provider for his family, a friend to many, a man of faith, a natural giver to the less fortunate, a waymaker, [and] a game-changer.”
Kwame Kilpatrick– A former Detroit Mayor, had his sentence commuted by Trump, and he is now being released from prison 20 years early for public corruption crimes in 2013. This commutation is strongly supported by prominent members of the Detroit community, Alveda King, Alice Johnson, Diamond and Silk, Pastor Paula White, Peter Karmanos, Representative Sherry Gay-Dagnogo of the Michigan House of Representatives, Representative Karen Whitsett of the Michigan House of Representatives, and more than 30 faith leaders. Mr. Kilpatrick has served approximately 7 years in prison for his role in a racketeering and bribery scheme while he held public office. During his incarceration, Mr. Kilpatrick has taught public speaking classes and has led Bible Study groups with his fellow inmates.
Next on the list of familiar names is Bill K. Kapri, aka Kodak Black- A prominent artist and community leader whose commutation is supported by numerous religious leaders, including Pastor Darrell Scott and Rabbi Schneur Kaplan. Additional supporters include Bernie Kerik, Hunter Pollack, Gucci Mane, Lil Pump, Lil Yachty, Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens, Jack Brewer, formerly of the National Football League, and numerous other notable community leaders. Kodak was sentenced to 46 months in prison for making a false statement on a Federal document and has served nearly half of his sentence. Before his conviction and after reaching success as a recording artist, he became deeply involved in numerous philanthropic efforts. In fact, Kodak has committed to supporting various charitable efforts, such as providing educational resources to students and families of fallen law enforcement officers and the underprivileged. In addition to these efforts, he has paid for school children’s notebooks, provided funding and supplies to daycare centers, provided food for the hungry, and provides for underprivileged children during Christmas annually. Most recently, while still incarcerated, Kodak Black donated $50,000 to David Portnoy’s Barstool Fund, which provides funds to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. His only request was that his donation goes toward restaurants in his hometown.
Michael Harris– The 59-year-old Death Row Records Co-founder will be released from prison after serving 32 years of a 25 year to life sentence for kidnapping and attempted murder. Mr. Harris has had an exemplary prison record for three decades. He is a former entrepreneur and has mentored and taught fellow prisoners how to start and run businesses. He has completed courses towards business and journalism degrees. Upon his release, he will have a meaningful place of employment and housing with his family’s support.