LUBBOCK, Texas — On the last day of his presidency, Donald Trump granted clemency to over 140 people. And almost one year ago, two West Texas women were in the same place.
“I’m highly ecstatic about it. I can’t wait until tomorrow,” said Tynice Hall of Lubbock.
Both Tynice Hall and Crystal Munoz of Midland were granted clemency by President Trump on February 18, 2020.
“Clemency is like a blessing, like — oh my God, [by] the grace of God, we got clemency,” said Munoz.
Munoz had been sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison on a marijuana charge, while Hall was sentenced to 35 years in prison on various drug related charges. They both left federal prison after their sentences were commuted by Trump.
When someone is granted a commutation, it doesn’t mean they are pardoned of their crimes. It simply means that they will not have to serve out the rest of their sentence.
“With me receiving clemency, it was just such a blessing. Cause I never thought I would be released. I thought 2031 was when I was getting out, because I received no, no, [so many no’s],” Hall said. “But I’m the type of person, that, I’ll take a million no’s to get that one yes and I’m going to keep trying.”
Both women say clemency gave them their life back, so when President Trump spent one of his last days in office granting clemency to over 140 people, they couldn’t help but feel emotional.
“We are happy,” Munoz said. “We are so happy, because thousands of people need to be out of there.”
“No one deserves a life in prison,” Hall said. “With what he is doing, it’s opening up doors. Like, ‘okay, this can be done,’” said Hall.
Both Munoz and Hall spent over 10 years in prison. And while they are thrilled to see so many more be given a second chance by President Trump, they know they will never get back the time they spent in prison.
“We have lost things we can never get back. We have received clemency, but it’s time we can never get back,” said Hall.
Hall took college classes, did job training programs and taught prison education programs to other inmates while in prison. Now that she’s out, she is working two jobs and trying to make the most of her freedom.
“I can never catch up,” Hall said, “but I’m trying to get back to where I could be.”