Kim Kardashian West admitted she would kill for her family as she heard harrowing details of a case involving a woman jailed for murder.
The reality TV star – who is training to be a lawyer – has become a high-profile campaigner for criminal justice reform in the US, using her enormous influence to highlight was she describes as grave injustices in the system.
Her work has taken her to the White House for meetings with President Donald Trump and has now been explored in two-hour documentary Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project.
The programme features four cases the cosmetics entrepreneur has worked on.
They include that of Dawn Jackson, who was jailed for stabbing her step-grandfather to death after alleging he sexually abused her for years.
Case workers said authorities had missed multiple opportunities to help Jackson throughout a traumatic childhood, including a hospital visit at the age of five due to a sexual assault.
An emotional Kardashian West – a mother of four – said she would be prepared to “take one for the whole family” and “go kill that person” if something similar happened to one of her loved ones.
Jackson was found guilty of murder over the 1999 killing and has served more than 20 years behind bars. Kardashian West is working to earn her freedom.
She said: “She committed a murder and obviously that’s such a tragedy that a man lost his life. However, Dawn has spent 20 years of her life behind bars. It’s time now for the evidence to be heard and hopefully bring Dawn home again.”
Kardashian West, 39, has also taken a keen interest in the case of Alexis Martin, who was jailed for life with a minimum of 21 years for her involvement in the murder of a man she says sex trafficked her.
Kardashian West met Martin behind bars in Ohio and heard distressing details about her time as a prostitute.
“Everybody really failed her in her life and nobody really protected her when the system really could have,” Kardashian West said. “I couldn’t even imagine being in her situation and everything she had been through.”
Martin is still awaiting the outcome of a clemency hearing.
Two of the other cases featured in The Justice Project had happier endings.
Momolu Stewart was serving a life sentence after being convicted of first-degree premeditated murder when he was 16. During a face-to-face interview, he told Kardashian West he has turned his life around and now mentors young men in prison.
Thanks in part to the TV star’s help, he was released in October 2019 and performed at one of Kanye West’s Sunday Service concerts.
And David Sheppard, who had been jailed for life for his part in a 1992 murder, was released in December 2019.
He told Kardashian West he had no idea he had been taken to a robbery and only found out that a man had been killed the next day.
He pleaded not guilty but was convicted after a trial and, due to mandatory sentencing laws, was jailed for longer than the man who admitted pulling the trigger.
Throughout the documentary, Kardashian West criticised mandatory sentencing rules and called for judges to take into account mitigating circumstances from a convict’s past.
She said: “Millions of people are behind bars that just don’t deserve to be. There just has to be a balance. There has to be a better system than what we have now.”
– Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project airs in the US on April 5.