Kim Kardashian quietly bankrolled a successful campaign to free 17 inmates serving life sentences for low-level drug crimes over the past three months.
Those freed include Jamelle Carraway, an Illinois man who served 11 years of his life sentence for cocaine possession, and Eric Balcom, who was sentenced to life for a drug offense and has now been reunited with his family in Florida after 16 years behind bars.
Funded by the reality star’s deep pockets, legal eagles Brittany K. Barnett and MiAngel Cody — of advocacy groups Buried Alive Project and The Decarceration Collective, respectively — secured the release of the federal inmates as part of a campaign called 90 Days of Freedom.
The prisoners’ emancipation was also made possible by the First Step Act, the sweeping criminal justice-reform bill signed into law by President Trump late last year with bipartisan Congressional support — and backing from Kardashian and her husband, rapper Kanye West.
Criminal justice reform has become a cause close to Kardashian’s heart, culminating in her trip to the White House in May 2018 to successfully lobby Trump to commute the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a Tennessee great-grandmother sentenced to life for a non-violent drug conviction.
By Damilola Faustino