President Donald Trump has pardoned prisoner activist Jon Ponder, who spent time in prison for bank robbery. Ponder’s pardon aired during the Republican National Convention Tuesday evening.
Ponder has become an activist for prisoners and helping those behind bars return to normal life upon release. Ponder has helmed the Las Vegas-based organization HOPE for Prisoners for the last 15 years.
Richard Beasley, a retired FBI agent who arrested Ponder, stood alongside Trump and Ponder during the pardon.
Trump has previously been involved with HOPE for Prisoners. In February, Trump visited Las Vegas and met with 30 members of the program.
Ponder said in February that his organization has helped 3,000 formerly incarcerated people back into the workforce.
Trump has used pardons and clemencies sparingly during his tenure. Trump has handed 26 pardons and 11 clemencies during his time in office. In President Obama's tenure, the president issued 212 pardons and 1,715 clemencies, although the vast majority of those came in Obama's final year in office.
During George W. Bush's tenture, he granted 189 pardons and 11 clemencies. The majority of Bush's pardons came in his final two years in office.