Kim Kardashian West has described the moment a death row inmate whose case she has championed received a stay of execution.
Kardashian West, a reality TV star who is studying for a career in law, believes there is “substantial evidence” that would exonerate murder accused Rodney Reed.
Reed, 51, was facing death by lethal injection on Wednesday for the 1996 killing of a 19-year-old woman.
Following a high-profile campaign featuring celebrities including Beyonce and Oprah Winfrey to have his case reexamined, Texas’s top criminal appeals court halted the execution.
Kardashian West revealed she was with Reed when the decision was announced and described the moment he discovered the news.
She tweeted: “Today, I had the honour 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.”
Kardashian West added: “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!”
Reed was convicted of murdering 19-year-old Stacey Stites. Prosecutors say Reed raped and strangled Stites as she made her way to work at a supermarket in Bastrop, a rural community near Austin, Texas.
Kardashian West, the wife of rapper Kanye West, is studying to become a criminal justice lawyer and is planning to take her exams in 2022.
She has become increasingly involved in high-profile cases where supporters of the accused claim there has been a miscarriage of justice.
The mother-of-four played a crucial role in the release of prisoner Alice Marie Johnson, whose life sentence for drug offences was commuted last year.