Saturday, 17 November, 2018

President Trump considering pardon of boxing great Muhammad Ali

Patty Aguilar | 08 June, 2018, 17:37

US President Donald Trump is considering pardoning boxing legend Muhammad Ali for his draft dodging conviction.

Ali - who died in 2016 - refused to fight in the war when the government tried to conscript him in 1967, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to the U.S. involvement in the conflict.

Ali was convicted of draft evasion and lost his heavyweight champion title in 1967. In an 8-0 decision, the court overturned Ali's conviction.

Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Friday for a meeting with in Canada with USA allies that he's looking at "thousands of names" of people who could be granted clemency.

Mr Trump's comments follow his pardon of conservative political commentator and author Dinesh D'Souza.

Trump said that he wasn't thinking about pardoning either man, as neither has yet been convicted of a crime. "I'm thinking about Muhammad Ali, I'm thinking about that very seriously".

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"We appreciate President Trump's sentiment, but a pardon is unnecessary".

Wrongful convictions have been erased with presidential pardons, but there is technically no longer a conviction on Ali's record.

"There is no conviction from which a pardon is needed", he added.

He said, "Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?" Reality TV star Kim Kardashian West personally appealed to Trump to pardon the 63-year-old grandmother.

The president has recently mooted pardons for lifestyle personality Martha Stewart and former governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich.

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