Kim Kardashian visits White House to ask Trump to commute controversial sentence of another drug convict
Kim Kardashian was back at the White House on Wednesday to meet President Donald Trump and to discuss prison reform with top White House officials
Reality TV star Kim Kardashian was back at the White House on Wednesday to meet President Donald Trump and to discuss prison reform with top Trump administration officials. She has also revealed that she is working with White House officials to release another convicted felon.
On Wednesday, Kardashian attended a listening session on clemency at the White House with a number of officials including Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, according to Wall Street Journal. Wednesday’s meeting was mainly aimed at discussing process, and no announcements of clemency are expected this time.
She had visited the White House in May to meet President Donald Trump and discuss prison and sentencing reform. She had also appealed to the President to commute 63-year-old Alice Johnson's life sentence.
Johnson had been put in jail back in 1996 on non-violent drug charges and Kardashian campaigned for days against the harsh mandatory punishment that she was put through.
In June, she celebrated the release of the elderly woman from Tennessee after Trump commuted the woman's sentence.
The star revealed on September 5 that she will now be campaigning to free 30-year-old drug dealer Chris Young who is currently serving a life sentence at a federal prison in Lexington, Kentucky.
Kardashian is reported to officially announce the news of the campaign on Jason Flom's Wrongful Conviction podcast on Wednesday. In a preview by Page Six, the reality superstar said: "Yesterday [Tuesday], I had a call with a gentleman that's in prison for a drug case — got life. It's so unfair. He's 30 years old. He's been in for almost 10 years. 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 [alongside] us to get [Young] out."
Young was arrested at a Shell gas station in Clarksville, Tennessee, in December 2000 and has been in prison ever since. He had been talking to Robert Porter, a drug dealer, while they were standing next to Porter's car which had eight ounces of cocaine and six ounces of crack. Young decided to go on trial after he turned down a guilty plea because he felt that the sentence the prosecutors were offering was too long.
The young man had been found guilty of conspiracy with intent to possess and distribute 500 grams of cocaine and 280 grams of crack, intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a high school, and knowingly possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The judge did not have much of a choice in the sentencing because of his earlier convictions and gave him life in prison.
Young had been arrested in 2006 on the charge of drug possession with a firearm and was arrested a second time a year later for possession of less than a half-gram of cocaine. 2007 was also the year that young's brother, Robert, took his own life. Speaking of his brother's death later, he said: "I felt like the only person that understood all the adversity I'd been through was gone. I was lost, and I made a lot of bad decisions."
Kevin Sharp, the judge who had sentenced Young, left his position at the bench to protest the "unfair" mandatory sentences. At the sentencing hearing that took place in 2014, four years after Young was jailed, Sharp said: "Each defendant is supposed to be treated as an individual. I don't think that's happening here."
During his speech at the sentencing hearing, Young told the court that his mother was a drug addict and that he had been regularly beaten by her boyfriend. He also said that the home they lived in would sometimes not even have light or water so he would have to go to the neighbor's once a week to clean up. Young also said that he used to work for a funeral home but then soon turned to a life of dealing drugs as a way to survive.
Young said during the sentencing that he had been studying profusely in jail so that he could "better himself". He said: "I look at this like I'm in college. I don't get to go to frat parties or talk to women, but this is the time to get my skill set. When I'm reading in my cell, it's like I'm studying in my dorm room." The young man is a tech enthusiast and a huge fan of Elon Musk whom he dreams of working with someday.
Judge Sharp told the Tenneseean in an interview: "If there was any way I could have not given him life in prison I would have done it. Most of the defendants (in drug cases) are not dangerous. They're just kids who lack any opportunities and any supervision, lack education and have ended up doing what appears to be at the time the path of least resistance to make a living."