Mid-Southerners among those receiving Trump pardon

Trump issues pardons before leaving office, some connected to the Mid-South

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Just hours before he left office, former President Donald Trump issued more than 140 pardons and commutations to people across the country, including in the Mid-South.

In a midnight release, the Trump White House shared the names of 143 people who had been granted clemency by the outgoing president. Trump pardoned 73 people and commuted the sentences for 70 others.

His former chief strategist Steve Bannon is the most recognizable name on the pardon list.

People with Mid-South connections also received a pardon.

Robert Corkern, a doctor in Mississippi who was convicted of bribery, received a pardon. Trump officials said the pardon was recommended by Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith and former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant.

Then, there’s Joshua Smith. He received a pardon at the recommendation of Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and other state officials, according to the Trump White House. Smith was released from prison in 2003 after serving time on drug charges. He’s now a businessman who mentors inmates in prison.

Trump also pardoned Johnny Phillips at the recommendation of a former U.S. Attorney for Middle Tennessee. Phillips was convicted of mail fraud in 2016 and is now an advocate for diabetes research, according to the Trump White House.

Nashville entrepreneur and youth advocate, Robert Sherrill also received a pardon. He served time in prison on drug charges.

Trump also pardoned David Miller, who was convicted of making a false statement to a bank in 2015. He’s now the development director of Men of Valor, an organization whose board Governor Lee served on. Lee was one of several people who recommended a pardon for Miller.

The Trump White House also credited Memphian Alice Marie Johnson for recommending pardons for several people across the country.

In a tweet Wednesday, Johnson said “Today is a day to honor mercy and justice, a day to celebrate the second chance given to many deserving individuals and reunification with loved ones.”

WMC reached out to the offices of Wicker and Hyde-Smith. They both declined to comment about the pardons they recommended.

The station also reached out to Lee’s office but did not get a response.

Copyright 2021 WMC. All rights reserved.