In a new interview with Today show co-host, Jenna Bush Hager on Monday, the reality star and criminal justice advocate opened up about the moments she shared with Reed prior to learning the life-changing news.
“We did talk a lot about his case and how he just would love justice for him, for his family, for the victim’s family,” Kardashian West said. “It’s really important to him that the scientific evidence be brought and considered heavily.
“Then we talked about family, and his kids and his family and grandkids and mother and really important, special things in his life,” she added.
Watch @KimKardashian’s full interview with @jennabushhager about Rodney Reed’s reaction to his stay of execution, why she ultimately decided to get involved in criminal justice reform and how becoming a mom changed her perspective. pic.twitter.com/9jkp5bBEuH
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 18, 2019
Over the last few years, Kardashian West has made it a mission to pursue her passion for criminal justice reform. Last year, the mom of four helped release Alice Johnson, a non-violent drug offender, from a life sentence, and has since began a four-year apprenticeship with a law firm in San Francisco — her goal being to take the bar in 2022.
Reed’s case was the most recent cause that the reality star chose to advocate for. He had been on death row in Texas for more than two decades for the 1996 murder of Stacy Stites, which he claims he did not commit.
Kardashian West told Bush Hager she was “strategic” about getting involved, saying she made sure she felt confident that the case should be looked at again.
On Friday, Reed found out his execution had been suspended when the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled to block Reed’s execution, which had been scheduled for November 20, according to the New York Times.
“It was just this overwhelming sigh of relief and hope that really filled the room,” Kardashian West told Bush Hager of the moment they heard the ruling.
She added, “But still, I think when someone has been through so much trauma and so much disappointment in their life, especially when they feel like they haven’t really been heard, you can imagine still a sense of almost disbelief or a little bit less emotion than you would probably imagine because of the history of being just let down for so many years of wanting to tell your truth and saying it but no one hearing that.”
The KKW Beauty mogul was just one of the many celebrity voices to stand up for Reed after his attorneys with the Innocence Project said they have new eyewitness evidence to be presented that would help prove he was not guilty. Experts that were called in 1998 when he was convicted of the 1996 murder have also recanted their testimony.
Prior to her interview with Bush Hager, Kardashian West shared a snippet of her experience helping Reed in a post on Instagram, writing about the “hope” everyone felt after the court’s decision.
View this post on Instagram
Today, I had the honor of meeting #RodneyReed in person and the privilege of sitting with him when he got the news that the highest court in Texas had issued a stay of execution and remanded the case back to the trial court for further consideration. Words cannot describe the relief and hope that swept over the room in that moment. That hope had been building over the last few weeks around Rodney’s case. We have seen Democrats and Republicans come together. We have seen grassroots activists and lawmakers link arms. We have heard people all around the globe speak up. And all because of a deep belief that every man or woman accused of a crime – especially one punishable by death – deserves the chance to have all available evidence considered. So grateful for the commitment and passion of everyone who voiced their support, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles for their recommendation to issue a 120 day reprieve, and the courts for issuing a stay!
A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Nov 15, 2019 at 4:21pm PST
“Words cannot describe the relief and hope that swept over the room in that moment. That hope had been building over the last few weeks around Rodney’s case,” she wrote. “We have seen Democrats and Republicans come together. We have seen grassroots activists and lawmakers link arms. We have heard people all around the globe speak up. And all because of a deep belief that every man or woman accused of a crime – especially one punishable by death – deserves the chance to have all available evidence considered.”