Tekashi 6ix9ine could be released early from prison today (April 1). According to New York City’s Inner City Press, which has covered the rapper’s court battles for months, presiding Judge Engelmayer is currently waiting for a formal objection from the US Attorney’s Office, which would be delivered to the Court by 5 pm (EST). If the US government does not object, then Engelmayer is reportedly “inclined” to release 6ix9ine from prison today (April 1).
Previously, 6ix9ine’s lawyer attempted to have his client removed from prison due to the Coronavirus. 6ix9ine suffers from asthma, which puts him at a heightened risk if he contracts the widespread virus. Last week, Engelmayer denied 6ix9ine’s request, informing the rapper that the Court did not have the authority to offer him early release. However, he said that if he’d known about the global pandemic we were heading into at the time of 6ix9ine’s sentencing, he would have ruled that the rapper transfer to home confinement.
“At the time of sentencing, however, the Court did not know and could not have known that the final four months of Mr. Hernandez’s sentence would be served at a time of a worldwide pandemic to which persons with asthma, like Mr. Hernandez, have heightened vulnerability,” Engelmayer wrote in the decision. “Had the Court known that sentencing Mr. Hernandez to serve the final four months of his term in a federal prison would have exposed him to a heightened health risk, the Court would have directed that these four months be served instead in home confinement.”
Sympathizing with his predicament, Engelmayer suggested that 6ix9ine request compassionate release from the US Bureau of Prisons, instead. 6ix9ine’s lawyer followed the advice, but the Bureau of Prisons denied his request this week, due to the fact that 6ix9ine is currently held in a private prison and not in a Bureau of Prisons facility.
Despite the disappointing news for 6ix9ine and his legal team, the Bureau’s denial actually redirects authority back to the Court. In a new request issued to Engelmayer, 6ix9ine’s lawyer cited that because the Bureau “has now denied [6ix9ine’s] administrative request for compassionate release” the Court can, “upon a finding of extraordinary and compelling circumstances, reduce the prison term of a defendant’s sentence.” The circumstance that 6ix9ine’s lawyer is referring to is, of course, the novel Coronavirus.
While Engelmayer waits for a possible objection from the US Attorney’s Office, the final ruling in 6ix9ine’s compassionate release is expected to be announced today after 5 pm (EST) (April 1).