When Death Row inmate Rodney Reed learned he wouldn't have to die this week, Kim Kardashian was in the room with him.
The 51-year-old was originally scheduled to be executed this Wednesday for the 1996 assault, rape and strangling of a 19-year-old woman, Stacey Stiles. Attorneys with the Innocence Project have said there is evidence that exonerates him. On Friday, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended that the governor grant Reed a 120-day reprieve so a trial court can review his case again, and the state's Court of Criminal Appeals later formally halted his execution.
Reed's case drew support from numerous lawmakers and celebs such as Kardashian, who is studying to become a lawyer, and she had in recent weeks tweeted her support for him. On Friday, she wrote on Instagram that she met him in person that day and was present when he got the news about his reprieve.
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"It was emotional," Kardashian said on NBC's "Today," in an excerpt from an interview with co-host Jenna Bush Hager, released on Sunday. "It was extremely emotional and he said, 'Praise Jesus.'"
The full interview will air on "Today" on Monday.
"Words cannot describe the relief and hope that swept over the room in that moment," Kardashian had said on Instagram. "That hope had been building over the last few weeks around Rodney's case."
"We have seen Democrats and Republicans come together," she said. "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."
In June, President Donald Trump commuted the life sentence of 63-year-old Alice Johnson, who was jailed on 1997 drug conspiracy and money laundering charges, after Kardashian personally lobbied for her and discussed her case with the U.S. leader. The two women later met in person after Johnson was released from prison on parole.
They reunited in October, making a joint appearance at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California, to speak about mass incarceration reform.
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