Monday, 20 August, 2018

President may eye Ali pardon, ask football players for ideas

Leonard Rios | 08 June, 2018, 17:38

US President Donald Trump is considering pardoning boxing legend Muhammad Ali for his draft dodging conviction.

Ali, who died on June 3, 2016, refused to enter the military during the Vietnam War, declaring himself a conscientious objector.

Ali was convicted in 1967 of draft evasion. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 1971.

Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Friday for a meeting with in Canada with US allies that he's looking at "thousands of names" of people who could be granted clemency.

Trump said he was considering a number of other pardons too and said that the pardoning power was "a handsome thing" for presidents.

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Ali's attorney, Ron Tweel, responded to the President's gesture in a statement Friday. According to the Chicago Tribune, Trump said that "instead of talk", he will ask protesting players to suggest "people that they think were unfairly treated by the justice system".

"I'm thinking about Muhammad Ali. There is no conviction from which a pardon is needed", he said.

In response to one reporter's question, Trump also confirmed that one name not on his list for potential pardons was O.J. Simpson, the former football star who was released on parole last year after serving nine years in prison.

Trump recently granted a posthumous pardon to the first African American heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson, who was convicted in 1913 of violating a law that made it illegal to transport women across state lines for "immoral" purposes.

Johnson, who served nearly 22 years in federal prison for a first-time criminal offense, was pardoned this week.

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