Tags: 2020 Elections | Donald Trump | Law Enforcement | rnc | convention | pardon | jon ponder

Trump Pardons Bank Robber: 'A Beautiful Testament to the Power of Redemption'

jon ponder listens to the president speak
Founder of Hope for Prisoners, Jon Ponder, listens as US President Donald Trump delivers the commencement address at Hope for Prisoners graduation ceremony in Las Vegas, NV, on February 20, 2020. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 25 August 2020 08:02 PM

President Donald Trump promised surprises at the Republican National Convention, and on Tuesday he pardoned a man who robbed a bank in Nevada — an event that was featured during Tuesday night’s convention.

A video released before Tuesday night’s convention speeches shows Trump signing a pardon for the man, Jon Ponder, who was arrested in 2004.

"Jon’s life is a beautiful testament to the power of redemption," Trump said.

Ponder appeared alongside Richard Beasley, the FBI agent who arrested him for his last bank robbery in Nevada.

"Not so long ago, my life was running from the police, fearing the police and avoiding the police. Not because of anything that the police had done to me personally, but due to the animosity I had allowed to grow inside of me, making me believe that they were my enemy," Ponder said during the Republican National Convention.

Beasley talked about the rehabilitation of the man he arrested, and how the two formed a friendship since Ponder was released from prison.

"It may be hard to believe that as a retired FBI agent, one of my best friends is a person I arrested for bank robbery. When I met Jon he was angry, scared, frustrated and anxious about his future. On the drive to prison, I stopped at a convenience store and bought Jon a coffee and donut. He sent me a thank you note. Five years later, when he got out of prison, Jon called me and wanted to meet for lunch. He was a different man," Beasley said.

After being released from prison, Ponder in 2009 founded a non-profit called Hope for Prisoners, Inc. that helps inmates re-enter society. Ponder is scheduled to appear at the convention alongside the former FBI agent who arrested him. Trump has sought to tout a bipartisan sentencing reform bill he signed into law as one of his top first-term achievements.

"But today, praise God. I'm filled with hope. A proud American citizen who has been given a second chance. My transformation began in a prison cell where I found myself a three-time convicted felon facing yet another sentence. I gave my life to Jesus and made him a promise that I would spend the rest of my days helping others like me."

Trump indicated he would pardon Ponder in February when he attended a ceremony for Hope For Prisoners graduates. Ponder received a state pardon for separate crimes in March.

Ponder added, "My hope for America is that law enforcement and people in the communities across our country can come together and realize that as Americans, we have more in common than we have differences. My hope for our great nation is to continue on this path we are on of being the most prosperous country in the world."

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President Donald Trump promised surprises at the Republican National Convention, and on Tuesday he pardoned Jon Ponder, a man who robbed a bank in Nevada....
rnc, convention, pardon, jon ponder
Tuesday, 25 August 2020 08:02 PM
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