Trump Floats Pardon of Muhammad Ali, Who Doesn’t Need One

Muhammad Ali has nothing to be pardoned of. Photo: Bettmann/Bettmann Archive

President Trump’s reported obsession with his pardoning power shows no sign of letting up.

The latest potential recipient of his largesse is the late boxing icon Muhammad Ali, Trump said Friday. There’s a slight problem with pardoning Ali though: His conviction was already thrown out.

Ali was convicted of draft evasion in 1967 after he refused to refused to fight in the Vietnam War. The conviction came with a five-year prison sentence and $10,000 fine. Ali remained free while he appealed the conviction, but he was stripped of his world heavyweight title and his boxing license.

In 1971 his case made its way to the Supreme Court. In an 8–0 decision, the court overturned Ali’s conviction. Even if that had never happened, Ali would have been covered by the blanket pardon Jimmy Carter issued to those who evaded the draft. Ali’s lawyer confirmed in a statement that the boxing legend has no use for a pardon.

So when Trump says he may pardon Ali, it’s unclear what he’s talking about.

Trump Floats Pardon of Muhammad Ali, Who Doesn’t Need One