A commutation is but one of the clemency powers granted to the executive under Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution. A commutation shortens a person’s sentence, while a pardon absolves their conviction.

Since her commutation, Johnson has used her early release to call for long-overdue criminal justice reforms. On Thursday evening, Johnson spoke at the Republican National Convention.

“What I did was wrong. I made decisions that I regret. Some say, ‘You do the crime, you do the time.’ However, that time should be fair and just. We all made mistakes. None of us want to be defined forever based on our worst decision,” she said in a moving speech. She also reminded her audience of the thousands of offenders just like her in federal prison “who deserve the opportunity to come home.”