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Meet Momolu Stewart — Convict Kim Kardashian Got Out Of Prison After 23 Years

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Who Is Momolu Stewart? New Details On The Convict Kim Kardashian Got Out Of Prison After 23 Years

A man who was serving a life sentence in a Washington, D.C.. prison has been released. His freedom comes thanks to a new law that allows inmates who were sentenced as juveniles to appeal their sentences. He also needs to thank Kim Kardashian West.

Momolu Stewart served 23 years of a life sentence for murder. He spent those years studying, mentoring others and trying to improve himself as best he could. When the D.C.. Council passed the Incarceration Reduction Act in 2017, he petitioned for a reduced sentence. Nearly 40 people had already written to a judge on his behalf when Kim Kardashian West stepped in to help. The reality star and criminal justice reform activist met Stewart while she was filming a documentary and agreed to lend her star power to his case.

Who is Momulu Stewart and why did Kardashian West help him? Read on to learn more. 

1. A 1997 murder

NBC writes that Stewart and his co-defendant Kareem McCraney were convicted of the shooting death of Mark Rosebure in 1997. McCraney, who was released earlier this year under the same law that has freed Stewart, said that he and Stewart went to confront Rosebure he made a gesture to his waistband and they thought he was reaching for a weapon. Stewart and McCraney then pulled out their weapons and shot Rosebure over a dozen times.

Both Stewart and McCraney received life sentences for the crime. McCraney was 17 at the time he was sentenced and Stewart was 16.

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2. The law is on his side

In 2017, the Washington D.C.. City Council passed a law called the Incarceration Reduction Amendment Act, according to the Washington Post. The new law allows inmates who were under 18 at the time they committed their crimes and who have spent at least 15 years behind bars to request a reduction in their sentence. They can't just expect to be let out on that alone, however. They must show signs of rehabilitation while they were incarcerated. Since the law passed, only 19 inmates have been granted release under these terms. They will continue to be on probation for five years following release as well. 

The rationale behind the law is that the brains of teens and young adults aren't fully developed. People who commit crimes at a very young age — even violent crimes — might not repeat them once they reach full maturity so decades-long sentences are not appropriate for juvenile offenders.

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3. Years of working on himself

The Washington Post reports that Stewart did everything in his power to use his years in prison to rehabilitate himself. Stewart earned his GED in 2009 but he didn't stop his education there. He kept taking classes and accumulated 1,400 hours of educational programs. Not just academics, either. Stewart took personal development classes including behavior modification, anger management. He started learning yoga. He has taken college courses at Georgetown University, where he met Marc Howard, the founding director of Georgetown’s prison education program. 


A post shared by PookDiesel/DJRave (@rapsheethollywood) on Oct 8, 2019 at 9:54pm PDT

Stewart has been in prison for 23 years.

4. Meeting Kim Kardashian West

Marc Howard is the one who connected Stewart to Kardashian West, the Washington Post notes. The reality star has been working on prison reform efforts and is currently filming a documentary called Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project. Howard has been assisting on the project and suggested that Kim meet Stewart when she was filming in DC. He told her that Stewart is the “is the perfect representation that people are greater than the worst things they’ve done and that people transform over time.”

Kardashian West has become a force in sentencing reform over the past several years. Since her interest in the subject began, she has successfully advocated for the release of two other inmates, Alice Marie Johnson and Matthew Charles, both of whom were serving lengthy prison sentences. She has also begun studying to be a lawyer herself. She's taking the unorthodox approach of doing a four-year internship with a law firm instead of attending classes, a process known as reading the law. California is one of several states that allows that path to becoming a lawyer, NBC reports. Kardashian West says she plans to take the bar in 2022. 


A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Oct 7, 2019 at 6:36am PDT

Kim has been studying law.

5. Kim petitioned the on his behalf

After meeting with Stewart in the library at the prison, Kardashian West agreed to write a petition to the judge asking for early release. Stewarts's attorney Beth Henthorne told Fox5 that Kardashian West's petition was the 40th on the judge received on Stewart's behalf. 

“I write to humbly request your compassion and humanity in supporting the release of Momolu Stewart,” West said in the two-page letter. “I have been actively involved in cases across the country and in my view, Momolu is especially deserving of your consideration. He has been rehabilitated and is no longer dangerous to society,” she wrote, adding, “I also have every confidence that upon his release he will continue to guide others away from a life of crime and continue on his own path to redemption and success.”

Stewart was released in October.

6. "I'm back and I'm better."

When the judge decided to rule in favor of Stewart, Henthorne called him at the jail to give him the good news. “He was speechless. This completely changes his life,” said Henthorne said. Stewart told Oxygen that he is grateful to Kardashian West for her role in his release. “She has the ability to believe in others when the conventional aspect of things would be to shun them,” Stewart said. “So now I’ve been resurrected. I’m back and I’m better.”

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On Monday, Stewart left prison a free man for the first time in 23 years. 

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.