Jay-Z is Fighting For 'Compassionate Release' of Inmate Serving 20 Years on a Marijuana Charge
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Jay-Z is Fighting For ‘Compassionate Release’ of Inmate Serving 20 Years on a Marijuana Charge

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Hip-hop artist and businessman, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter is putting his legal team to work to try to get a man out of prison for marijuana charges that has him serving a 20-year sentence.

According to Page Six, Jay-Z‘s legal team has twice asked a judge in North Carolina for the “compassionate release” of Valon Vailes. 

In legal papers filed with the court on Wednesday, Jay-Z’s attorney Alex Spiro filed a second motion to the court to reconsider a previous request, which was earlier dismissed due to Vailes’ COVID-19 vaccination record.

“Mr. Vailes’ motion for compassionate release does not mention COVID-19 and does not rely on any COVID-19-related argument as a basis for arguing in favor of a reduced sentence,” Spiro argued.

Spiro asked the judge to release Vailes on a sentence of time served.

“Mr. Vailes has exhausted his administrative remedies with the [Federal Bureau of Prisons]; extraordinary and compelling reasons warrant compassionate release in his case; the relevant factors support release; and Mr. Vailes is not a danger to the community. Mr. Vailes is the sole available caretaker for his mentally ill brother whom is in desperate need of Mr. Vailes’ support. It is unjust to allow Mr. Vailes to remain in prison when, if sentenced under the current law, and with his good behavior credits, he would have already been released.”

The first motion that was filed on Vailes’ behalf, back in August, was for a compassionate release request. The motion stated that the 55-year-old prisoner had been “a model inmate.” It also cited that he completed coursework and drug treatment and that Vailes’ family “desperately needs his support and assistance, and he does not present a recidivism risk.”

In U.S. District Judge Frank Whitney‘s decision last month, he improperly noted that Vailes was “pro se motion” (meaning that the inmate represented himself) but, he had Spiro, a renowned celebrity attorney, representing him. Vailes’ vaccination record was also mentioned.


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