R. Kelly’s Legal Team ‘Disheartened’ After Publication Says He Shouldn’t Be Released Due To COVID-19
R. Kelly’s legal team isn’t here for the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board’s opinion piece, which makes the argument that the coronavirus pandemic is not a good enough reason for their client to be released from jail. As previously reported, R. Kelly, born Robert Kelly, requested to be released from jail and allowed to await his trial at his girlfriend’s home because of the virus. He’s currently facing charges for child pornography and other serious accusations.
However, despite his legal team’s efforts, his request was denied. On April 22nd the editorial board for the Chicago Tribune published an article expressing their opinion on why the 53-year-old should not be released from prison as COVID-19 continues to spread.
“Our view is that while detainees and convicted prisoners have a right to petition for release to avoid contagion and deserve to be heard, protecting public safety is paramount. Anyone who represents a threat to the community or is a flight risk is behind bars for a reason. Even during a pandemic.”
Steve Greenberg and Mike Leonard, legal counsel for R. Kelly, recently responded to the editorial board and stated how badly the conditions are where R. Kelly is currently being detained.
We were disheartened with the editorial (“Why, even now, defendant R. Kelly belongs in custody,” April 24) regarding the New York court’s decision to deny R. Kelly’s bail, which the Tribune Editorial Board linked to U.S. District Chief Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer’s decision in Chicago to grant a different detainee bail. The editorial board entirely missed the point, as well as an opportunity to educate the public.
They went on to plead R. Kelly’s case and added,
“Mr. Kelly, and all [Metropolitan Correctional Center] detainees and personnel, are at serious risk of unnecessarily suffering through a painful and prolonged illness and facing the prospect of death. It is of paramount importance to protect pretrial detainees like Mr. Kelly, not only because they have not yet gone to trial and are presumed innocent, but also because morality requires it. The [Metropolitan Correctional Center] cannot protect them, which is why Mr. Kelly requested limited release, under terms of home confinement and electronic monitoring, at least until the pandemic passes.”
R. Kelly’s lawyers also mentioned how it’s impossible for their client to practice social-distancing while in jail and the MCC has no idea of the rate of actual infection. See their full statement here.
What are your thoughts on this entire situation? Let us know in the comments.