23 April, 2018
Boxer Jack Johnson may receive a pardon from Donald Trump. "His trials and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial", Mr Trump wrote on Twitter. ".I am considering a Full Pardon!". The Mann Act prohibits transporting women across state lines for "immoral" purposes.
The son of former slaves, Johnson became the first African-American world heavyweight boxing champion in 1908 and his dominance of the sport infuriated racist whites. After falling short in their first attempt at building a case against Johnson, assistant U.S. District Attorney Harry A. Parkin asked the Justice Department's Bureau of Investigation to "secure evidence [of] illegal transportation by Johnson of any other women for an immoral goal".
Seen by many at the time as the "Great White Hope," Jeffries threw in the towel in round 15 of 45 as Johnson toyed with him in front of 15,000 boxing fans in Reno, Nevada.
Two months into his sentence, in an open-air ring at Leavenworth Penitentiary, Johnson took part in his first bout for seven years, knocking out two fellow inmates in quick succession.
Johnson didn't serve his prison sentence until 1920 because he left the country following his conviction.
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After his release, Johnson reportedly continued fighting well into his sixties but was killed in a vehicle crash in 1946 at the age of 68. He died in 1946 in an auto crash.
In 2016, then-Sen. Harry Reid and Sen.
Haywood wanted Barack Obama, the nation's first black president, to pardon Johnson, but Justice Department policy says "processing posthumous pardon petitions is grounded in the belief that the time of the officials involved in the clemency process is better spent on the pardon and commutation requests of living persons".
Calls for a Johnson pardon have frequently been issued.
Campaigns for posthumous pardons have been in motion since the turn of the century, but have not found much success.
In recent years, Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) reintroduced laws urging a posthumous pardon. "I hope President Trump will seize the opportunity before him to right this historical wrong and restore a great athlete's legacy".