Trump announces pardon of Jon Ponder ahead of GOP convention appearance
Hope for Prisoners CEO shocked by Trump’s pardon consideration
Jon Ponder says being considered for a pardon by President Trump means the world to him on ‘Fox & Friends.’
President Trump on Tuesday announced a pardon of Jon Ponder ahead of the convicted bank robber-turned activist's appearance at the Republican National Convention.
Ponder, who founded the nonprofit Hope For Prisoners, will be speaking at the convention, along with Richard Beasley, the FBI agent who arrested him, Fox News is told.
Ahead of the Tuesday appearance, the president announced the pardon in a video, calling Ponder's story "a beautiful testament to the power of redemption."
WHO IS JON PONDER, BANK ROBBER-TURNED ACTIVIST PARDONED BY TRUMP?
"He has created one of the most succesful reentry programs, Hope For Prisoners, in Las Vegas," Trump said in a video taped at the White House. "Hope for prisoners is a movement that began as a dream, in a tiny prison cell, and is now making a difference in the lives of thousands, truly bringing hope that there is an opportunity and a community that is waiting and willing to offer them a second chance."
President Trump on Tuesday announced a pardon of Jon Ponder ahead of the convicted bank robber’s appearance at the Republican National Convention.
The president in 2018 honored both Ponder and Beasley during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden during the National Day of Prayer.
Growing up in New York, Ponder became involved in gang life and was first arrested for armed robbery at age 16. He spent the next twenty years in and out of jails before ultimately before getting sent to federal prison for an drug and alcohol fueled bank robbery.
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It was during his time in federal lock-up that Ponder found god and, two years after he was released from prison, founded Hope For Prisoners in 2009.
Earlier this year, the Nevada Pardons Board granted him clemency for his past battery convictions. Trump's pardon now clears his record of the federal bank robbery conviction.
Fox News' Alex Pappas contributed to this report.
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