In the final days leading up to Trump’s exit from the White House, he compiled a list of 143 names of individuals who would be granted commutation or pardoned. On the commutation list was Detroit’s former Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick.
Kilpatrick who served as the Mayor of Detroit from 2002-2008 was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison after being convicted of corruption crimes of racketeering, extortion ,fraud, and bribery. The former mayor was also caught in a text message scandal after the Detroit Free Press published texts between Kilpatrick and his former female chief of staff. Reportedly the messages alluded to a relationship between the pair and also confirmed Kilpatrick’s false statement during a police trial.
Over the years Kilpatrick has filed a number of appeals with the hope of earning back his freedom, all of which were denied, even the commutation he sought from former President, Barack Obama. After help from supporters and millionaire friend Peter Karmanos, Trump answered Kilpatrick’s call for freedom.
The white house stated: “President Trump commuted the sentence of the former Mayor of Detroit, Kwame Malik Kilpatrick. This commutation is strongly supported by prominent members of the Detroit community, Alveda King, Alice Johnson, Diamond and Silk, Pastor Paula White, Peter Karmanos, Representative Sherry Gay-Dagnogo of the Michigan House of Representatives, Representative Karen Whitsett of the Michigan House of Representatives, and more than 30 faith leaders.”
U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider who’s long favored Kilpatrick serving his full sentence stated, “My position on the disgraced former mayor of Detroit has not changed. Kwame Kilpatrick has earned every day he served in federal prison for the horrible crimes he committed against the people of Detroit, he is a notorious and unrepentant criminal.” he added “Kilpatrick has served only one quarter of the sentence that was very appropriately imposed. Thankfully, Thankfully, under Michigan law, he cannot hold state or local public office for 20 years after his conviction.”
Kilpatrick is being held in a Louisiana prison where he wasn’t expected release until 2037, but Trump’s commutation will allow for his release 16 years ahead of schedule.