Republican Lawmakers Renew Call for Presidential Pardon of Jack Johnson

Republican Lawmakers Renew Call for Presidential Pardon of Jack Johnson

Sen. John McCain and Rep. Peter King are lobbying for a presidential pardon for boxing great Jack Johnson to right a historical wrong.

Published May 25, 2011

Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) and Rep. Peter King (R-New York) are trying once again to get a posthumous presidential pardon for boxing great Jack Johnson. Because of his romantic involvement with a white woman, the first African-American heavyweight champion was convicted in 1913 of violating the Mann Act, which banned taking women across state lines for immoral purposes. Johnson died in an auto accident in 1946.

 

“In 2009, both chambers of Congress unanimously passed a resolution calling on our President to posthumously pardon the great boxing legend, Jack Johnson, of his racially motivated conviction,” McCain said in a statement. “However, as of today, no pardon has been issued. Therefore, Congressman King and I are reintroducing this resolution to send a clear message to rectify this unacceptable historical injustice."

 

Last month President Obama issued eight pardons to people who’d committed a variety of offenses that involved drugs, firearms and alligator hides.  

(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Written by Joyce Jones

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