A convicted felon was brought to tears when President Trump granted him a full pardon in a video that aired Tuesday as part of the Republican National Convention.
Jon Ponder grew up in New York and was first arrested for armed robbery at age 16. He spent 20 years in and out of jail before being arrested in 2004 on a bank robbery charge. He had also previously been granted clemency for state-level convictions for domestic battery crimes.
Ponder has since founded the nonprofit group Hope for Prisoners. He was joined in the broadcast by former FBI agent Richard Beasley, who originally arrested Ponder but has since become one of his close friends.
"Jon's life is a beautiful testament to the power of redemption," Trump said in the video. "...I'd like to invite Jon's wife, Jamie, to join us as I grant Jon — I'm not sure you know this, a full pardon."
"We believe that each person is made by God for a purpose," the president said.
Ponder said he was grateful for the pardon.
"Today, praise God, I am filled with hope — a proud American citizen who has been given a second chance," he said in the video.