ET and TMZ report that Kim Kardashian is trying to secure a pardon for another person facing a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense. Kardashian is reportedly back at the White House on Wednesday to discuss the case of Chris Young, a man whose 2010 arrest for marijuana and cocaine possession led to a life sentence.
Kardashian found out about Young’s case from Brittany Barnett, co-founder of Buried Alive Project, an organization dedicated to ending life without parole under federal drug law. According to Buried Alive, there are approximately 3,800 men and women currently serving life sentences for drug offenses in the United States; 80 percent of them are people of color.
Kardashian revealed her latest pardon project in an upcoming interview on Jason Flom’s Wrongful Conviction podcast, which airs Wednesday. ET obtained a clip in which Kardashian discusses Young’s conviction, medical issues, and hardships in maximum security prison:
“When I was talking to Chris Young, who’s in prison [and] has sickle cell anemia... So, he’s had to have a few surgeries and he’s been in a medical facility for a few years, and he goes back into the maximum-security prison where lifers have to go. And he’s had a perfect record.... He was saying, ‘I can stay out of trouble in here, but going in there there’s stabbings, there’s this. And if you’re near that you can get in trouble so easily,’” Kardashian shares. “He just didn’t want to get caught up in a situation that had nothing to do with him, but could very much have.”
“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 continues. “It’s a completely different environment than the environment that he’s so used to.”
In June, Kardashian convinced President Trump to pardon Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old black woman serving a life sentence for a first time drug offense. Johnson was in prison for 22 years before Trump granted her clemency.
As valiant as it is for Kardashian to try her hand at prison reform—and quite successfully thus far—it’s grim that this is how things work: It takes a rich person with influence to garner up enough empathy from others in power to do the right thing. Rich person wants a thing, rich person gets a thing. There are plenty of nefarious uses for this kind of power. This time, because of Kardashian, an obscene system may produce a just outcome for one person. The balance is still way the fuck off.