Donald Trump may have pardoned a lot of questionable (and racist) people during his major sweep of prison commutes, but among the particular eye-brow raisers on that list was Death Row Records co-founder Harry O.
According to the New York Post, on his final day in office, Donald Trump officially commuted the sentence of Harry O, whose real name is Michael Harris, after it was revealed that former Death Row artist and Hip-Hop legend Snoop Dogg had been secretly lobbying at the White House for Harris’s release. Snoop, who has been an outspoken critic of Trump and his administration, had reportedly called the move a “Godsend” before thanking the administration for serving his longtime friend justice.
On a zoom call, that was recorded and shared with the West Coast legend’s permission, Snoop was with two other Trump pardon recipients, Alice Johnson and Weldon Angelos, as the rapper praised Trump with the reform advocates, who shared the news about Harris’s reprieve. The former mogul spent more than 30 years behind bars.
Johnson, who was pardoned by Trump while serving a life sentence, following lobbying by Kim Kardashian, shared the news.
“I just got a call from the White House and Harry-O is getting clemency,” Johnson said. “He’s coming home, brother!”
“That’s great work for the president and his team on the way out,” Snoop Dogg said. “They did some great work while they was in there and they did some great work on their way out. Let them know that I love what they did.”
Harris received word he’d been granted clemency at Lompoc Federal Correctional Institution in California, said Angelos, who received his own pardon from Trump in December.
Angelos also thanked prison reform activists Alice Marie Johnson and Michael “Hollis” Goldstein for their tireless work in securing Harris’ pardon, before crediting Snoop Dogg for raising awareness about the case and using his platform to help free the Death Row Records co-founder.
“I think President Trump can leave with some good,” Snoop said.
Michael “Harry O” Harris was convicted on attempted murder and cocaine trafficking-related charges, has been locked up at the Federal Correctional Institution Lompoc, with a sentence that was supposed to last until late 2028. The federal facility has since attracted national attention and press coverage for its outbreak of the coronavirus last year. Harris and his attorneys previously sought an early compassionate release, arguing that an autoimmune disease put him in even graver danger from the virus– but the request was denied.
Trump is expected to officially announce a batch of last-minute pardons before Wednesday’s noon inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.