President Trump said Tuesday he is "actively looking" for more inmates to release from prison with his clemency powers, saying "a lot" of people are jailed for years without good reason.
Trump told reporters in the Oval Office he was happy he released drug convict Alice Johnson from a life sentence in June, and that he intends to do more.
"Alice Johnson is such a great person, such a great case. I'd like to find a lot of people like Alice Johnson. And there are a lot of people that are in a situation like that. And we are actively looking for those situations," he said.
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Trump said Johnson "is a terrific woman. I've been watching her a lot and what a great spokesman she is for that situation. And that's covering a lot of people. There are a lot of people like that, that will unfortunately be locked up for many, many years, and there's no reason for it."
"We are looking for — we are actively looking for other situations exactly like that," he said.
Trump has been more generous than recent predecessors with clemency early in his first term. He has released four people from prison, two with pardons, and gave five post-release or pre-sentencing pardons.
After releasing Johnson at reality TV celebrity Kim Kardashian West's urging, Trump generated enormous enthusiasm behind bars saying he wanted to release other inmates treated “unfairly."
In the past four months, prominent people have hand-delivered lists of inmates to White House counsel Don McGahn and presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Some policy advocates have urged Trump to create an in-house clemency commission that would supplement the work of the Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney, which clemency advocates view as ineffectual and biased in favor of prosecutors. But so far, no official in-house review process has been announced.
Last month, Kardashian West returned to the Oval Office to ask Trump to release Chris Young, 30, who was arrested at 22 and received a life sentence for dealing drugs. She brought with her former U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp, who imposed the sentence and personally asked Trump to reverse it.
During the September visit, Trump raised the case of Matthew Charles, who returned to prison this year after a court found his drug sentence was reduced in error.
"He clearly had read the files," Sharp said.