Benjamin Watson responds to Trump’s pardon challenge


White House staffers have reportedly gather paperwork for dozens more Pardons and commutations of criminal offenders as a member call President Trump earlier this month give me to the sentence of Grandmother Alice Marie Johnson Food Service almost 22 years President Obama had said no to her request for clemency Alice Johnson was the seventh pardon or commutation granted by President including the posthumous pardon of the first black heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson who pleaded guilty to campaign-finance violations and former Bush Administration officials scooter Libby convicted in the 2003 leak that reveal the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame astonishing offer to protesting NFL players pass along folks they consider victims of the criminal justice system and he will give them a chance the Eagles Malcolm Jenkins Seahawks Doug Baldwin and a New York Times op-ed asking for a blanket pardon for drug offenders like Alice Johnson the word Easter very long sentences or happen to have Benjamin Watson out with us tonight to tell us more Benjamin welcome you say that individual cases is one thing but there are other systemic problems that are all three or criminal justice system and you think the president needs to do more I want to read a little bit of the piece that you co-authored here it says president Trump going to hell he could use it Powers including the clemency power to make a real dent in the federal prison population people like Alice Johnson for example should not be given to facto life sentences for nonviolent drug crimes in the first place the president can stop that from happening by issuing a blanket pardon for people in that situation we have already served long sentences that make you feel like he be able to tackle that how many people are we talking about we applaud the president and we’re happy for people at Alice Johnson who were able to get out especially after serving such a long sentence opportunity here into a positive life without parole for non-violent drug offenders did those who have served 35 20 years and the elderly people that are 60 plus people that are getting along AJ’s Family grandchildren there’s no need for them to be an insult while it’s important to to talk about the end of it cases we think that the president has an opportunity to something that isn’t much much greater that we went to to push him in doing that we want to not only respond to him to respond to him in a way that takes direction to the bigger problem Jared Kushner has been working to try to bring together some bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform his own father was in the prison system and this is very near and dear to his heart and we put the number of Senators and house members from both sides of the aisle trying to work on something hopeful that something will move forward with the reforming the system the sentencing the conditions of prison and also people’s reentry into society when they’re released thoughts about doing good loving kindness doing Justice and walking humbly with your guy demographics across our entire population was recently act that was passed that leaves from the Clean Slate act up in Pennsylvania where it where we able to explain to some of the records of people that have been been crying free for 10 years or so they don’t have to carry that burden forever preventing them from getting high prevented from getting certain jobs and things like that so I have been encouraged when I looked at Criminal Justice Reform I’ve been encouraged by the president actually saying that this is something that he wants to lend his voice to andaz players at citizens as Fathers as husbands best brothers that care and love this country we think this is something that needs to be corrected and we believe that that now is the time you were not somebody would just write the check you actually get physically involves on these trips and trying to help with these things and you’ve talked to just talked about fatherhood and families it’s something you’ve written about you have an amazing Twitter feed to be very inspired and encouraged talk about the role of fathers and of menace to society and and what you think is happening in 2018 Godfather’s in the United States in the country in the world in general right now about 33 or so percent of our children are in this country don’t have fathers and so there is some other fatherlessness crisis that is going on and because of that young men and women are searching for the identity father is his son’s first hero and he’s his daughter’s first love he’s the one who kind of suggested the tone and set the expectations for his his sons of for his daughters and so as a father take my job very seriously so we just came back actually from a trip to Dominican Republic on combating sex trafficking down there and seeing the work that is being done so this is justice issue for me is it something to being treated fairly when it comes to right to life and sanctity of Life all those things to me I’m all in one basket and what’s been kind of discouraging when it comes to this issue another that we do sometimes divided along party lines where I believe that that they all kind of serve the same purpose now should be looked at in similar light and hopefully for the rest of us and see where we can make the world a better place Benjamin Watson thanks so much for joining us tonight we loved having you
President Trump asked NFL players to name possible pardons; New Orleans Saints tight end joins ‘Fox News @ Night’ to explain why he’s answering the call.

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