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Alice Johnson, who had her life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense commuted by President Trump in 2018, praised the president's commitment to criminal justice reform at the Republican National Convention on Thursday.

The big picture: Johnson celebrated the First Step Act, the Trump-backed bipartisan criminal justice bill that passed six months after her commutation. The bill led to the release of at least 3,000 inmates by the end of 2019, according to NBC News.

Between the lines: After a summer of protests over police brutality and system racism, the Trump campaign has recently poured big money into Facebook ads promoting the administration's criminal justice reform efforts.

What she's saying: “I was once told that the only way I would ever be reunited with my family would be as a corpse. But by the grace of God and the compassion of President Donald John Trump, I stand before you tonight…and I assure you, I’m not a ghost! I am alive, I am well, and most importantly, I am free," Johnson said.

  • "In 1996, I began serving time in prison -- Life plus 25 years. I had never been in trouble. I was a first-time, nonviolent offender. What I did was wrong. I made decisions that I regret."
  • "Some say, ‘You do the crime. You do the time.’ However, that time should be fair and just. We’ve all made mistakes, and none of us want to be defined forever based on our worst decision."
  • “When President Trump heard about me — about the injustice of my story — he saw me as a person. He had compassion. And he acted. Free in body thanks to President Trump. But free in MIND thanks to the almighty God.”

The bottom line: "I pray that you will not just hear this message, but that you will be inspired by my story, and your compassion will lead you to take action for those who are forgotten," Johnson concluded.

Of note: Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who also spoke at the RNC on Thursday, was one of the hardline conservatives who fought against the First Step Act.

Go deeper

Trump campaign, RNC have raised $207.5 million since Election Day

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee said Thursday they have hauled in $207.5 million since Election Day.

Why it matters: The funds have been largely raised through President Trump's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud. Trump has refused to concede to President-elect Joe Biden. His campaign's slew of lawsuits and recount efforts have seen little success.

AT&T spins off U.S. video business via deal with TPG

Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

AT&T is spinning off three of its video services, including its satellite TV brand DirecTV, to create a new standalone video company called New DIRECTV.

Details: The company will be jointly owned by AT&T and private-equity giant TPG. AT&T will retain a 70% stake and TPG will own 30% of the firm.

Updated 19 mins ago - Sports

Ex-USA Gymnastics coach dies by suicide after being charged with human trafficking

John Geddert. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

The body of John Geddert was found on Thursday, just hours after the former USA Gymnastics coach was charged with 24 counts of criminal misconduct, according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

What they're saying: “My office has been notified that the body of John Geddert was found late this afternoon after taking his own life. This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved," Nessel said in a statement.