Donald Trump considering pardon for boxer Jack Johnson

23 April, 2018, 21:53 | Author: Kristine Mills
  • President Trump said he is considering a pardon for boxer Jack Johnson

This week, movie star #Sylvester Stallone, who is best known for playing the lead role in the "Rocky" series of boxing films, called up US President Donald Trump and asked him to consider pardoning Johnson for his crimes.

Trump tweeted Saturday that Johnson's "trials and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial".

He was convicted in 1913 under the Mann Act for crossing state lines with a white woman for an "immoral goal".

He died in a vehicle wreck in 1946. Peter King and Gregory Meeks - petitioned President Barack Obama for a pardon in honor of the 70th anniversary of Johnson's death. Sen. Johnson defeated Jeffries to keep his title as the undisputed champion of the world. Coined the "Fight of the Century", Jeffries lost to Johnson on July 4, 1910, in Reno, Nevada, after 15 rounds. A search was launched for a "Great White Hope" who could beat him in the ring, but in vain.

Johnson became the first African-American world heavyweight champion in 1908 after defeating Tommy Burns. Stallone joins the likes of Arizona Senator John McCain and former Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid, who have previously sought a pardon for Johnson.

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Jack Johnson, right, of the U.S., world heavyweight title holder since 1908, in action against Jess Willard of the United States of America at Havana, Cuba in 1915. She remembers learning about Johnson when she was in sixth grade during Black History Month, and only learned later that he was kin.

Johnson's niece has pushed Trump to get a pardon. Johnson eventually fled the country to Canada and also spent time in France before returning to see out his one-year prison sentence in 1920. President Donald Trump said he would consider a "full pardon" for the first black heavyweight boxing champion.

Johnson said of the jury: "Eleven of those men are for life conviction, and the other is for hanging before hearing the evidence".

Posthumous pardons are rarely given, but they occurred from time to time.

"While it is unfortunate that this unjust conviction was not corrected during the boxer's lifetime, a posthumous pardon today represents the opportunity to reaffirm Jack Johnson's substantial contributions to our society and right this historical wrong", the letter said. In 1999, President Bill Clinton pardoned Henry O. Flipper, the first African-American officer to graduate from West Point in 1877, after being unjustly accused of embezzlement.

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