John McCain Still Trying to Get a Pardon for Boxer Who Died Almost 67 Years Ago
McCain and New York Congressman Peter King have tried several times to get Johnson, who was black, pardoned for a 1913 conviction he earned after being prosecuted under the Mann Act for dating a white woman.
-John McCain Still Wants Boxer Jack Johnson Pardoned
Specifically, Johnson was convicted of "transporting women across state lines for immoral purposes," which landed him in prison for a year.
In 2009, Congress actually passed this resolution, but no action was taken by the president.
The Justice Department informed McCain that it doesn't hand out pardons to dead people, but McCain and company didn't really like that answer -- so here we are.
"We can never completely right the wrong perpetrated against Jack Johnson during his lifetime, but this pardon is a small, meaningful step toward acknowledging his mistreatment before the law and celebrating his legacy of athletic greatness and historical significance," McCain says in a press release.
In the grand scheme of things, there were many, many more black men who got screwed over by racist laws worse than Johnson did, and seeing as McCain represents a state that passed SB 1070, vindicating a dead boxer for dating a white woman might not be number one on the curing-racism checklist.
McCain also has Democratic Senators Harry Reid and Mo Cowan supporting his resolution this time around.