A five-year effort to win a posthumous presidential pardon for Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion, was left in limbo when George Bush left the presidency without acting on a petition for clemency. Baker Hostetler's John Siegal filed a petition in 2004 for a presidential pardon of Johnson, who was prosecuted in 1913 for alleged violations of the Mann Act. Both the prosecutor and judge at the time freely admitted the prosecution was racially motivated.
Bid to Win Presidential Pardon for Heavyweight Boxing Champ Fails
The National Law Journal
January 22, 2009