Saturday 1 October 2016

Kardashian West backs justice campaign for man wrongly kept on death row

Helen Pye

Published 15/06/2016 | 02:30

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian West has asked fans for support (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for EJAF)
Reality TV star Kim Kardashian West has asked fans for support (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for EJAF)

Reality star Kim Kardashian West has thrown the social media spotlight on a campaign for justice for a man who was wrongly kept on death row for over 20 years.

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Kardashian West tweeted about the "heartbreaking" story of Kerry Max Cook, who was sentenced to death in 1977 for the rape and murder of 21-year-old Linda Jo Edwards, which DNA evidence has since proved he did not commit.

Cook has been free since 1999 after accepting a plea bargain of no-contest with no admission of guilt, but the state of Texas has contested a full exoneration which would see him eligible for more than $3million (€2.7m) in compensation, plus additional benefits, for the 22 years he was imprisoned.

In a series of tweets, Kardashian West said she had googled Cook's story when she could not sleep.

She encouraged her fans to get behind the campaign to support Cook and "#RightThisWrong".

She wrote: "Just read the story of Kerry Max Cook. He had been on death row for a murder he didn't commit for almost 40 years.

Innocence

"His charge were just dropped after DNA evidence was finally brought in and cleared him. Can you imagine being wrongly imprisoned for 40 years.

"Wait, prosecutors agreed to drop the murder charges, but they will continue to oppose Cook's claims of actual innocence. Always a hang up! This will now prevent him from receiving the compensation he deserves for the decades he spent on death row.

"You should google Kerry Max Cook, his story is fascinating and heart breaking #RightThisWrong."

Cook is one step closer to exoneration after a judge dismissed murder charges against him earlier this month.

The ruling sends the matter to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals where Cook will seek a full exoneration.

Irish Independent

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