Jay-Z has joined the charge to help free a man who was unjustly sentenced to 20 years in federal prison on marijuana charges.
This past week, Hov’s attorney, Alex Spiro, filed a motion in North Carolina requesting the release of inmate Valon Vailes, who was convicted of conspiring to possess and distribute more than one ton of marijuana between 2003 and 2007. In his motion, Spiro argued that Vailes is not a threat to society and has a mentally ill brother, for who he’s the primary caregiver, as the reason for his release.
“It is unjust to allow Mr. Vailes to remain in prison when, if sentenced under the current law, and with his good behavior credits, he would have already been released,” read Spiro’s motion.
Vailes has already served 13 and a half years of his sentence, and earlier this year via an open letter, he sought out the help of Hov, who has made waves with his and Roc Nation’s efforts as an ambassador for justice reform. Moved by Vailes story, Jay got his attorney, Spiro, on the case, who filed a motion this past August requesting a “compassionate release” of Vailes, citing exemptions spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hov also received support for Vailes from employees of his Monogram camp, the enterprising mogul’s new cannabis brand.
A Change.org petition advocating for Vailes’ release has already garnered over 2,000 signatures as of Thursday morning (Sept. 30).