AceShowbiz - R. Kelly has scored a small legal victory. The "I Believe I Can Fly" hitmaker has been removed from suicide watch after he and his legal team claimed that he was being subjected to "cruel and unusual punishment."
In newly filed court documents, Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center Warden Heriberto H. Tellez stated that he made the decision on Tuesday, July 5 to remove the disgraced crooner from suicide watch following a "clinical assessment." No further details on the assessment were provided.
Last week, Kelly and his lawyers said that the "harsh" conditions of suicide watch have done irreparable harm to him. On July 1, they branded the MDC a "gulag"-style prison as they declared they were suing the institution.
They said the monitoring was violating Kelly's rights under the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishments. Jail policy included in a court filing said while under suicide watch, inmates can also be restrained and are under constant supervision from guards.
"R. Kelly is not suicidal. He was in fine spirits after his sentencing hearing and ready to fight this appeal," said Kelly's attorney Jennifer Bonjean. "MDC has a policy of placing high profile individuals under the harsh conditions of suicide watch whether they are suicidal or not. MDC Brooklyn is being run like a gulag."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Melanie Speight rejected those claims on July 2, arguing that Kelly's "current life circumstances undoubtedly bring emotional distress." Melanie stated in a court filing, "He is a convicted sex offender who has been sentenced to spend the next three decades in prison. In the immediate future, he faces another federal criminal trial in Chicago for charges related to child pornography."
Kelly was found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking last September. The Grammy-winning singer has since denied wrongdoing and planned to appeal his conviction.
On June 29, Judge Ann M. Donnelly handed down Kelly's 30-year prison sentence in Brooklyn Federal Court. Kelly showed no reaction upon hearing his sentence, which also included a $100,000 fine.