Prosecutors Defend Choice to Place R. Kelly on Suicide Watch
Federal prosecutors on Saturday defended the choice to put the R&B artist R. Kelly on suicide watch on the Metropolitan Detention Heart in Brooklyn, the place he has remained since being sentenced to 30 years in federal jail for intercourse trafficking and racketeering.
Mr. Kelly, 55, had sued the jail on Friday, saying that he didn’t really must be underneath suicide watch and that the jail employees was utilizing the software punitively towards high-profile defendants.
A employees psychologist on the jail first positioned Mr. Kelly on suicide watch after his sentencing final Wednesday, when a psychiatric evaluation decided that Mr. Kelly was clinically susceptible to harming himself. In keeping with court docket paperwork, psychologists contemplate defendants’ frame of mind, diploma of hopelessness and the size of their sentence in making that appraisal.
However in his lawsuit, Mr. Kelly, who has been held on the jail for greater than a 12 months, claimed he explicitly instructed psychologists that he was not suicidal and was positioned in this system anyway. Inmates on suicide watch are sometimes required to put on paper smocks reasonably than common jumpsuits. In some circumstances, they aren’t supplied with utensils and are pressured to eat with their palms, the submitting stated.
The “harsh” circumstances of suicide watch have executed irreparable hurt to Mr. Kelly, his attorneys stated.
Jail coverage included in a court docket submitting stated that whereas underneath suicide watch, inmates may be restrained and are underneath fixed supervision from jail officers.
The detention middle employees members knew that Mr. Kelly “was not a suicide danger once they positioned him underneath suicide watch subjecting him to merciless confinement,” the lawsuit stated.
However authorities attorneys stated it could be “unprecedented” for the jail to take Mr. Kelly off suicide watch primarily based on his personal self-analysis. He remained on watch as of Saturday, they stated, for his personal security.
Mr. Kelly’s attorneys argued final week that being unnecessarily positioned on suicide watch was a violation of Mr. Kelly’s Eighth Modification rights towards merciless and weird punishment. They stated Mr. Kelly had been mentally ready for his sentencing and didn’t present any indicators of misery.
“Nothing occurred in the course of the sentencing that got here as a shock for Mr. Kelly,” his attorneys wrote.
The jail, within the Sundown Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, has additionally housed Ghislaine Maxwell, the convicted intercourse trafficker and former associate of the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. Ms. Maxwell, who was sentenced to twenty years in federal jail final week, was additionally not too long ago positioned on suicide watch on the detention facility, which has lengthy been the topic of accusations of poor housing circumstances and mismanagement.
It’s unclear how for much longer Mr. Kelly will stay in custody in New York, the place he was convicted final 12 months on the trafficking and racketeering fees. He’ll quickly face a federal trial in Chicago on fees that he produced little one pornography and lured minors into intercourse acts. That trial is about for Aug. 22.
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