Kim Kardashian West working to get another prisoner released
Kim Kardashian West is continuing her work on criminal justice reform.
The reality TV star appeared on the podcast “Wrongful Conviction” in an episode released Wednesday and shared that she is working on the case of Chris Young, who she said received life in prison on drug charges after receiving three strikes.
“Yesterday, I had a call with a gentleman that’s in prison for a drug case — got life,” she said. “It’s so unfair. He’s 30 years old; he’s been in for almost 10 years.”
In June, Kardashian West was able to get President Donald Trump to commute the life sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a first-time nonviolent drug offender who served 21 years in prison. Johnson, now 63, was convicted in 1996 of conspiracy to possess cocaine and attempted possession of cocaine and spent a third of her life in prison.
In the new case, Young had prior convictions, Kardashian West said, for marijuana possession and marijuana with less than half a gram of cocaine possession that resulted in three strikes and a life sentence.
“I was on the phone with the judge that sentenced him to life, who resigned because he had never been on the side of having to do something so unfair and now he is fighting with us to get (Young) out,” she said. “It gave me such hope. It was a mandatory sentence that he had to deliver and (the judge) knew it was so wrong.”
In an April 2017 interview with The Tennessean, former US District Judge Kevin H. Sharp explained why he stepped down from the bench to return to private practice and his opposition to mandatory minimum sentences. He told the Nashville paper he would work to get Young’s sentence commuted.
“If there was any way I could have not given him life in prison I would have done it,” Sharp told the paper. “What they did was wrong, they deserved some time in prison, but not life.”
Kardashian West said Young suffers from sickle cell anemia and has been in a medical facility receiving treatment, but he will soon be returned to a maximum security facility.
“It’s scary when you have a minor drug charge, but then you get life and you’re stuck in this crazy maximum security prison with murderers and people (like that),” she said. “It’s a completely different environment than the environment that he’s so used to.”
The makeup mogul told “Wrongful Conviction” host Jason Flom that she is learning as she goes along about the criminal justice system.
She found out about Johnson on Twitter and met with Trump personally to make the case to have Johnson released.
And while she knows she can’t help everyone, Kardashian West said she speaks often with the White House, most notably Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, to work on reform.
“He is really passionate about changing some of these laws and getting a lot of bills passed,” she said. “Hopefully some things will get passed. I’m hopeful.”
A White House official confirmed to CNN that Kardashian West is at the White House on Wednesday morning to discuss clemency issues with officials along with advocates for prison and sentencing reform. She is not expected to meet with the President.