Alice’s life sentence was commuted by US President Donald Trump on Wednesday a week after meeting with Kim Kardashian about the cause.
The reality star tweeted:
‘BEST NEWS EVER!!!!’ after hearing about the release of Johnson, 63, who had spent more than two decades behind bars on a life without parole sentence for a first time drug offence.
She was released hours after the White House announcement and ran into her family members’ arms.
Michael Scholl, a member of Johnson’s legal team, said she was released just before 6pm local time from federal prison in Aliceville, Alabama.
Footage from local news station WVTM-13 showed Johnson running toward her family, throwing her arms wide-open and embracing them in front of a crowd of onlookers.
‘Everybody was crying and hugging,’ Scholl said.
Moments after her release, Johsnon called Kardashian an ‘angel’ and said:
‘I’m just so thankful. I feel like my life is starting over again.’ She also thanked Trump ‘for giving me another chance at life and restoring me to my family’.
Unlike a pardon, the commutation will not erase Johnson’s conviction, only end her sentence.