In the final hours of his presidency, Donald Trump has pardoned Death Row Records co-founder Michael “Harry-O” Harris.
Harris had served 30 years of a 25-to-life prison sentence for conspiracy to commit first degree murder. It was reported that Snoop Dogg, a longtime friend and Death Row label artist, fervently lobbied on his behalf.
According to Complex, Snoop brought Harris’ case to the attention of Weldon Angelos and Alice Johnson, criminal justice advocates who’d been previously pardoned by Trump. Johnson was the one to reach out directly to Trump.
“The president knows how much this case means to me,” Johnson remarked to The Daily Beast. “In reviewing Michael Harris’ case, his story, and what he’s gone through, this is such an unfair case. … He should have been home a decade ago.”
In an official statement about the commuting of Harris’ life sentence, the White House wrote,
“Mr. Harris has had an exemplary prison record for three decades. He is a former entrepreneur and has mentored and taught fellow prisoners how to start and run businesses. He has completed courses towards business and journalism degrees. Upon his release, Mr. Harris will have a meaningful place of employment and housing with the support of his family.”
Reacting to the news, Snoop told Complex, “I think President Trump can leave with some good. This is a great thing they are doing. And he wasn’t afraid to say it.”
Trump’s pardons and commutations list also included rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black. Despite his very high hopes, Joe Exotic did not make the final cut.