At Variety and Rolling Stone’s Criminal Justice Reform Summit, Kim Kardashian West and CNN commentator Van Jones participated in a discussion about how the prison system in the United States can be reformed.
Jones kicked off the conversation by crediting Kardashian West for President Donald Trump’s relative change in stance on criminal justice reform. He announced that at the time of the discussion, Trump was signing the FIRST Step Act at the Oval Office, which would would eliminate “stacking” provisions that result in offenders serving consecutive sentences for crimes committed using firearms; shorten mandatory minimum sentences, including reverting life imprisonment to a 25-year minimum for those convicted under the “three strikes” provision; and expand the “drug safety valve” to reduce the number of nonviolent drug offenders receiving mandatory minimum sentences.
Kardashian West, in turn, paid tribute to her father, attorney Robert Kardashian, whose defended his best friend, O.J. Simpson, at trial.
“On the weekends, when no one was around, I’d be going through these evidence books and crime scene photos, wild stuff,” Kardashian said of her experience during the O.J. trial. “I just was always so interested in it. I would always ask my dad questions, I was always really present. And him being an attorney and the stories that he told us…I was always really fascinated by it.”
She also recounted the moment she became aware of the plight of Alice Johnson — the woman who whose sentence was commuted by President Trump after Kardashian West’s appeal to him.
“When the chance came and I happened to be on my phone, happened to be looking at Twitter at a certain moment of the day and saw a video that [Alice] had made and a company The Mic had posted it on their social media and people that I followed were reposting it and it popped up on my feed. I always say that Alice, she found me. And I just felt like, ‘Well, there has to be something that I can do.’ And the power of social media — as crazy and scary as it can be, it was really beneficial and helpful in this case because I saw her face, I saw her story, I saw her children, I saw her sisters, I saw her whole life in a few-minute video that changed my life. And I just — I couldn’t sit back and let this happen, I was at least gonna try.”
Watch the full interview above.