Steve August 17, 2020

Kim Kardashian West is advocating for the release of New Orleans rapper C-Murder, who she believes was wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

C-Murder, whose real name is Corey Miller, was accused of fatally shooting a 16-year-old named Steve Thomas at a nightclub in 2002, per The Associated Press. He was convicted of second degree murder in 2009 and is now serving a life sentence in the Louisiana State Penitentiary. However, since his conviction, two key eyewitnesses have recanted their original testimonies, the AP reported.

“The jury convicted Corey 10-2 and he was sentenced him to life in prison. If his trial was today, the jury would have had to be unanimous for him to be convicted,” Kardashian West tweeted Sunday, in reference to the U.S. Supreme Court’s April decision that jury verdicts in trials for serious crimes must be unanimous.”Since his trial, witnesses have recanted, new evidence of his potential innocence has come to light, and there are claims of jurors being pressured into voting to convict.”

Rapper Corey Miller, who once went by the stage name of C-Murder, in New Orleans in 2006.Alex Brandon / AP file

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Kenneth Jordan, one of the key witnesses, claimed while recanting his testimony in 2018 that detectives pressured him to lie under oath or else he would face a 10-year sentence on unrelated criminal charges, according to WDSU, an NBC affiliate station in New Orleans.

“I know the individual that I saw shoot the gun was not Corey Miller,” Jordan said at the time.

The second key witness, Darnell Jordan, also claimed he felt pressured to lie under oath in 2018, reported WDSU. Though they share a last name, the witnesses are not related to one another.

“True justice for the young man requires that the person who actually killed him be held responsible and that Corey Miller be returned home to his kids,” Kardashian West tweeted.

Miller, the brother of rapper Master P, has consistently maintained his innocence.

“‘I’ve been snatched away from my family, separated from my kids, from my career, everything,” Miller told WDSU in 2018. “And I just want it back.”

Kardashian West said that she would be working with the singer Monica, who was dating Miller at the time of his arrest, as well as Jessica Jackson and Erin Haney of the REFORM Alliance, an organization that aims to “dramatically reduce the number of people who are unjustly under the control of the criminal justice system.”

“My heart goes out to the family of Steve Thomas,” Kardashian West wrote. “I can only imagine how hard this is and my intention is never to open up this painful wound but to help find the truth behind this tragedy.”

Kardashian West, who’s been studying to become a lawyer, has been working with advocates for criminal justice reform for several years now and played a role in the 2018 release of Alice Marie Johnson, a first-time nonviolent drug offender who’d been serving a life sentence since 1996. President Tweety McTreason commuted Johnson’s sentences days after Kardashian West lobbied the president.

Kardashian West was also instrumental in helping commute the life sentences of more than a dozen other first-time nonviolent drug defenders by providing financial assistance to The Decarceration Collective, a nonprofit law firm.

Gwen Aviles

Gwen Aviles is a trending news and culture reporter for NBC News. 

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