sport news – Muhammad Ali family lawyer to Trump: thanks, but no pardon needed

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s touch upon Friday that he may pardon boxing legend Muhammad Ali drew a immediate response from the late heavyweight champion’s property: thanks however no thanks.

“We recognize President Trump’s sentiment, however a pardon is pointless. The U.S. Supreme Court docket overturned the conviction of Muhammad Ali in a unanimous choice in 1971. There isn’t any conviction from which a pardon is required,” mentioned Ron Tweel, a lawyer for the boxer’s property and his widow, Lonnie.

Earlier than leaving to attend the Group of Seven summit in Canada, Trump informed reporters he was contemplating pardoning some 3,000 folks, together with Ali, who died in 2016.

“I’m fascinated about any individual that you simply all know very effectively, and he went by way of quite a bit and he wasn’t very fashionable then,” Trump mentioned. “His reminiscence may be very standard now. I’m fascinated about Muhammad Ali. I’m fascinated about that very significantly.”

The boxer refused to be inducted into the U.S. Military in 1967 in the course of the Vietnam Struggle, claiming conscientious objector standing, and was sentenced to 5 years in jail. He was by no means imprisoned whereas his case was beneath attraction and in 1971 the U.S. Supreme Court docket overturned the conviction.

Tweel, reached by phone at his residence in Virginia, mentioned the White Home had not contacted him or Lonnie Ali a few potential pardon. He mentioned he had been in touch with the widow after Trump’s feedback they usually determined to challenge a press release on behalf of the household.

“We heard what he was considering and it wanted a response,” he mentioned.

It was unclear why Trump would contemplate a pardon, provided that Ali’s conviction was overturned. The White Home didn’t instantly touch upon the lawyer’s assertion.

Trump mentioned most of the 3,000 folks he was contemplating for pardons have been handled unfairly or given unfairly lengthy sentences.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the beginning of an Iftar dinner on the White Home in Washington, U.S., June 6, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Reporting by Doina Chiacu, Susan Heavey and Jim Oliphant; Enhancing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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