Trump Grants Clemency to Alice Johnson Thanks to Work From Lawyer Brittany K. Barnett and Advocate Kim Kardashian West

Following a visit to the White House from Kim Kardashian West last week, President Donald Trump today commuted the sentence of Alice Johnson—a great-grandmother serving life without parole for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense. Johnson’s story numbers among the many of the people that attorney Brittany K. Barnett has represented.

While working to get her law degree at Southern Methodist University, Barnett took on the case of Sharanda Jones, another woman who was sentenced to life without parole for a first-time, nonviolent offense. Barnett was also ultimately successful in securing clemency for her.

People like Alice Johnson and Sharanda Jones are hardly alone.

Right now,  about 2,000 Americans are serving life without parole sentences for federal, non-violent drug offences. And Barnett plans to do something about it. She’s a practitioner-in-residence with SMU’s Deason Criminal Justice Reform Center as well as a co-founder of the Buried Alive Project, which raises public awareness about and eliminates unreasonable life sentences.

Since October the Buried Alive Project has worked with more than 50 SMU law students as well as creative writing and statistics graduate students who have volunteered more than 750 hours to the project. Students not only work on these individuals’ cases, but they tell their stories to shine a light on the human impact of current approaches to sentencing in our criminal justice system and the need for reform. And today their work made a real world impact.

08-15-2019 03:28pm

ICYMI: Charles Koch and Brian Hooks on Empowering Others

Charles Koch, founder of the Charles Koch Foundation, and Brian Hooks, president of the Charles Koch Foundation, recently co-wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post calling for a bottom-up approach to today’s challenges

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08-13-2019 08:39am

Charles Koch Discusses His Approach to Philanthropy on The Tim Ferriss Show

Charles Koch, founder of the Charles Koch Foundation, was recently featured on The Tim Ferriss Show, a podcast selected as the “Best of” Apple Podcasts three years in a row.

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08-02-2019 11:01am

Charles Koch Foundation Supports Bowling Green State University PPEL Program

Bowling Green State University recently announced plans to expand offerings within its Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law major, which provides students with an integrated curriculum that draws on the methods and insights of those disciplines.

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