Trump’s List of Pardons Include Louisiana Criminal Justice Advocate
In one of his last acts as sitting President of the United States, Donald Trump pardoned Syrita Steib-Martin.
In 1999, when she was just nineteen years old, Steib-Martin was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and 20 years in state prison. She was also ordered to pay restitution of nearly $2 Million. The charges and restitution stem from her role in auto theft that also resulted in an entire dealership being burnt to the ground in Tyler, Texas.
She was released from prison back in 2009, after being incarcerated for just under ten years.
These days, Steib-Martin is a criminal justice advocate in New Orleans. She is the co-founder and the Executive Director of Operation Restoration. According to Essence.com, Operation Restoration is a, "nonprofit that supports women and girls impacted by incarceration by helping them achieve successful reentry into society by pushing education, while promoting leadership and self-advocacy."
Steib-Martin worked with Louisiana politicians to help pass legislation that restricts public colleges and universities to ask applicants about their criminal history. That bill would eventually be named the "ban the box" bill, and it was passed in 2017.
Her pardon by Donald Trump immediately wipes away her duty to pay the $1.9 Million restitution.
In a statement on Steib-Martin's pardon, the White House said, "With today’s pardon, Ms. Steib is relieved of the crushing restitution she incurred at such a young age."
The White House also named the following as those who supported this clemency; Ben Watson formerly of the National Football League, Judge Sandra Jenkins of the Louisiana state courts, and Sister Marjorie Herbert, who serves as President and CEO of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, among many others.