Jay-Z and his legal team are fighting for justice and the release of an inmate seeking compassionate release. Because he snuck “some leftover chicken from the prison mess hall to his cell,” his petition is being denied, according to TMZ.
Valon Vailes is a 56-year-old inmate serving 14 years in jail (of a 20-year sentence) after being found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to possess marijuana with the intent to distribute in 2007.
Vailes contacted Jay-Z last year requesting that the entrepreneurial rapper assist him in getting a reduced sentence. Jay-Z and his team took up the cause, and in papers filed with the court, his attorney has stated that Vailes more than meets the terms for compassionate release.
Yet, the attorney says that the federal government has denied the request because he snuck “some leftover chicken from the prison mess hall to his cell.”
Attorney Alex Spiro claims that the government isn’t granting him a release over some “ticky-tac” prison offenses in court documents. He says Vailes is also being punished for using a piece of his prison uniform as “workout equipment.”
There is currently a petition on change.org asking for signatures supporting freeing Vailes.
“Valon M. Vailes, inmate number 01394196:
“On July 19, 2007, the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina Charlotte Division, the United States of America, found Mr. Vailes guilty with the conspiracy to possess marijuana with the intent to distribute and sentenced Mr. Vailes to a maximum of 20-years of imprisonment including 10-years of probation once released. He currently resides at the Otisville Correctional Facility, Otisville, New York, and is looking for support from advocates, friends, and family to support the petition of Valon Vailes clemency.”
Last fall, the New York Post reported that Jay-Z’s legal team took on the case and filed a petition on behalf of Vailes.
In August, attorneys filed a motion for a compassionate release request. In that motion, Vailes was described as “a model inmate” and had completed coursework and drug treatment. It said that Vailes’ family “desperately needs his support and assistance, and he does not present a recidivism risk.”
Spiro discussed the case with TMZ.