Trump pardons late boxer Jack Johnson, convicted for transporting white woman across state lines

Criminal Justice

Jack Johnson/Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons.

President Donald Trump granted a rare posthumous pardon to the first black heavyweight boxing champion, Jack Johnson, in a case in which he was convicted of transporting a white woman across state lines more than 100 years ago.

Trump pardoned Johnson on Thursday, report the Associated Press, the New York Times, USA Today, Fox News and the Washington Post. Johnson died in 1946 at 68.

It is the third posthumous pardon ever granted, according to USA Today.

Johnson had been convicted in 1913 for violating a law that makes it illegal to transport women across state lines for prostitution, debauchery or other immoral purposes. The woman was white, as were the jurors who convicted Johnson. She had worked as a prostitute but was in a relationship with Johnson, according to the Times.

Among those joining Trump for the announcement were actor Sylvester Stallone and several heavyweight boxing champions. Trump had tweeted last month that he was considering the pardon after Stallone told him about the case.

Congressional leaders have also sought the pardon, including U.S. Sen. John McCain. R-Ariz.


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