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January 26, 2023
After being sentenced to 30 years in prison on Wednesday, R&B singer R. Kelly was placed on suicide watch, his lawyer said Friday, according to Insider.
“Mr. Kelly was placed on suicide watch for purely punitive reasons in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. MDC (Metropolitan Detention Center) has a policy of placing high profile individuals under the harsh conditions of suicide watch whether they are suicidal or not,” Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, said in a statement.
In response, Kelly has announced that he will be suing the prison. His lawyer argued that he was mentally stable and showed no signs of behavior that would justify the prison putting him on suicide watch.
“MDC Brooklyn is being run like a gulag. My partner and I spoke with Mr. Kelly following his sentencing, he expressed that he was mentally fine and ONLY expressed concern that even though he was NOT suicidal, MDC would place him on suicide watch,” Bonjean said.
Bonjean claimed Kelly was being punished “for being high-profile.” She added, “To put someone under suicide watch under those conditions is cruel and unusual when they don’t need it.”
“They are entirely isolated. They are stripped of their clothing and underwear and forced to wear a smock made of material akin to the blankets moving companies use when they wrap up furniture. They are denied utensils for eating. They cannot shower or shave,” Bonjean said.
“These conditions may be appropriate for someone who is actually suicidal, they serve no purpose for someone who is not,” she added. “The only explanation for subjecting someone to these harsh conditions who is not suicidal is punitive.”
Kelly, 55, was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Wednesday after he was convicted on all nine counts against him in his sex trafficking and racketeering case. Additionally, he is expected to be transferred to Illinois in the coming weeks, where he is due to go on trial for child pornography and sexual abuse, among other charges, the New York Post reports.
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WSFA.COM