Trump considering pardon for late boxer Jack Johnson

23 April, 2018, 05:37 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Johnson. President Donald Trump says he's considering

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (AP) - President Donald Trump says he's considering a posthumous pardon for boxing's first black heavyweight champion more than 100 years after the late Jack Johnson was convicted by all-white jury of accompanying a white woman across state lines.

Johnson's defiance of the conventions of the day - he lived lavishly and dated outside of his race in a time when whites often killed blacks without fear of legal repercussions - saw him arrested in 1913 and charged with transporting a prostitute across state lines, a violation of the Mann Act.

Trump announced Saturday on Twitter that the actor Sylvester Stallone, a friend of his, had called to bring Johnson's story to his attention. "His trials and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial. Others have checked out this through the years, most thought it could be carried out, however sure, I'm contemplating a Full Pardon!" The supposed intent of the Mann Act was to prevent human trafficking, but the law was disproportionately applied to African American citizens, according to critics.

After his release, Johnson reportedly continued fighting well into his sixties but was killed in a auto crash in 1946 at the age of 68.

Johnson's story was fictionalised for The Great White Hope, starring James Earl Jones, and told in a documentary called Unforgiveable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson.

Johnson skipped bail and became a fugitive for seven years until he turned himself in. He served about a year in federal prison and was released in 1921. He died in 1946.

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In 2016, a group of congressmen - including Sen.

Activists and family members have long advocated for Johnson's posthumous pardon, as have USA officials like Sen.

"Jack Johnson is a boxing legend and pioneer whose reputation was wrongly tarnished by a racially motivated conviction more than a century ago", McCain said in a statement.

Advocates for Johnson have long pushed for a posthumous pardon, including US officials like Sen. This year, McCain; Sen.

"We urge you to grant this posthumous pardon". "Regardless of this decision passing each chambers of Congress a number of occasions lately, no pardon has been issued up to now".

Sen. Cory Booker also joined McCain, King and Rep. Gregory Meeks to introduce a resolution to get Johnson a pardon in March of 2017. A search was launched for a "Great White Hope" who could beat him in the ring, but in vain.

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