As she has done several times in the past, reality star, socialite and businesswoman Kim Kardashian is using her celebrity status in a positive way and trying to bring national attention to lesser-known criminal cases involving people who many say should not be incarcerated.
In a series of now-deleted tweets on Tuesday (April 5), Kardashian shared with her 72 million Twitter followers the story of Melissa Lucio, the first Latina to be sentenced to death in the state of Texas. Lucio is scheduled to be executed on April 27, 2022.
“I recently just read about the case of Melissa Lucio and wanted to share her story with you,” Kardashian tweeted. “She has been on death row for over 14 years for her daughter’s death that was a tragic accident.”
Lucio’s case was detailed in The State of Texas vs. Melissa, a 2020 documentary by director Sabrina Van Tassel (Women On Death Row). In the film, Van Tassel examines the evidence in the Lucio case. Lucio was arrested for the murder of her two-year-old daughter in 2007. Her supporters say that the child’s death was accidental and that Lucio was given an unfair trial.
Now, Kardashian is urging Texas Governor Greg Abbott to stop her execution. “It’s stories like Melissa’s that make me speak so loud about the death penalty in general and why it should be banned when innocent people are suffering,” Kardashian tweeted.
Over the last few years, Kardashian has become an outspoken advocate for prison reform. In 2018, Kardashian helped get the lifetime prison sentence of 64-year-old Alice Marie Johnson commuted for a nonviolent drug charge. Other prisoners who Kardashian has helped include Momolu Stewart, Crystal Muñoz, Judith Negron, and Tynice Hall, among others.
“I know my role, that I can be there at the end to push it through,” Kardashian told the New York Times in 2020. “I can also be a silent partner. I think it’s knowing when to speak out and when not to, and when to privately call. People think you need to shout it out on social media and shame people into making decisions, but that’s not how it is.”