The ongoing legal saga surrounding Canadian rapper Tory Lanez has taken another intriguing turn. After a high-profile trial that captured the attention of fans and the music industry alike, Tory Lanez, whose real name is Daystar Peterson, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. His bail pending appeal, was initially denied by his trial judge, Honorable David Herriford on September 14. However, in a motion filed Thursday, October 5, his new legal team Unite The People has filed for bail with the appeals court.
Tory Lanez’s bail was denied because Judge Herriford felt that Tory was a flight risk and a danger to society. In recent documents obtained by Tea With Tia,Tory’s legal team outlined various reasons as to why Tory does deserve bail pending his appeal. The notice of appeal was filed on August 10, 2023, but has yet to be heard.
Why Should Tory Lanez Bail Be Approved?
In the appeal, several reasons why Tory’s bail pending appeal should be approved were mentioned. Here are the most important reasons as to why his legal team feels an approval is warranted.
1. The court has jurisdiction to order release pending appeal.
When a court has “jurisdiction” to order someone’s release pending appeal, it means that the court has the legal authority to decide whether that person can be set free while their case is being appealed. Tory made an application to the Superior Court and outlined several reasons as to why the trial court’s ruling was unjustified.
2. The Defendant Is Unlikely To Flee And Is Not a Danger to the Safety of Any Person or the Community.
It is within the court’s discretion to determine if Tory should be granted a bond. The court should consider a few things while making this decision. Tory has strong connections to the community, he owns properties, has family attachments, and has continued to show up for every court proceeding leading up to the trial. His legal team argues that these reasons establish that he is unlikely to flee.
While the court decided to deny his bail initially due to his bail being increased and being from Canada, his legal team argues that those concerns aren’t very important. One of the main points they highlight is that Tory had been allowed to be out on bail while the trial was going on, and nothing has really changed except for the fact that the trial has now ended with a verdict. So in other words, they argue that Tory should still be allowed to be out on bail, just like he was during the trial.
They also argue that Tory is not a threat and does not pose a danger to society. Tory is a first-time offender, with a long list of philanthropy. During Tory’s sentencing hearing on August 7th and 8th, he had a total of 76 letters of support notating his contributions to society and to charity. According to the California Constitution, a defendant should be released on bail unless an exception applies. The document further explains that Tory is not a violent person and that this was an isolated incident involving alcohol as a major contributing factor. It is worth noting that during his prior bail hearing, Tory had more than one “violent” enhancement pending trial, and yet the Superior Court still granted the request.
Per the court document, this is imperative as in Tory’s bail hearing on October 26, 2022, ultimately the Judge determined that “[He didn’t] think the people [had] satisfied the substantial likelihood test that’s required.
What Happened While Tory Was Out On Bail Pending Trial?
Tory remained out on bail from the time of his arrest on July 12, 2020, throughout the pendency of the underlying proceedings, from which this appeal stems. The Superior Court amended Tory’s bail after arraignment on October 13, 2020, and hearings that increased or amended the terms of bail on August 23, 2021, April 5, 2022, and October 26, 2022.
The first issue was due to Tory appearing at a music festival after Megan performed. Tory says that they were both performing at the Rolling Loud Miami music festival in 2021, but he took precautions, and at no time did he see Megan. He performed with Da Baby, who was the headliner for that event, which means they went last (video below).
Later his bail was increased to $350,000 due to a social media post, where the case was referenced.
The judge definitively ruled that Tory was “not to mention the complaining witness in this case in any social media.”
The final hearing modified the terms and required monitoring, due to an uncharged allegation that Tory had been in a physical altercation in Chicago, Illinois with August Alsina. To this day, this incident is unfounded, as the only proof was a photo of August’s face with bruises shared to his Instagram, which has since then been deleted. Tory was released from home confinement on November 28, 2022, and appeared every day of trial.
These were the only incidents that occurred while on bail, and during this period of time Tory never had one violation per the Supreme Court’s order. Per the document, Tory’s legal team strongly felt that this evidences that Tory does not pose a flight risk, nor a danger to society or any individual, as he merely wishes to support his family and earn a living as is permissible pending the outcome of his appeal. Additionally, Tory would be helpful in the preparation of such with his attorney of record.
3. The Appeal is Not Taken for Delay, and the Appeal Raises Substantial Legal Questions That, If Decided in Favor of the Appellant, Are Likely To Result in Reversal.
This means that Tory and his team are not filing the appeal to stall or delay the legal process. They are appealing due to genuine reasons. The appeal in which they will file will bring up important legal questions. If the court decides that the answers to these questions are in favor of Tory, there’s a good chance the original decision will be changed (reversed).
Tory and his team intend to raise several issues on appeal including, but not limited to, the following: The presentation of expert witness testimony and the scientific nature of such evidence as presented to the jury surrounding the DNA testing that was performed on the weapon in question; possible errors surrounding the addition of the enhancement, errors of the Superior Court regarding the sentence term imposed when considering mitigating factors that were presented at the sentencing hearing; multiple instances of ineffective assistance of counsel, regarding more than one attorney of record; the appearance of bias through several examples concerning the honorable Superior Court; errors surrounding the admission or exclusion of evidence; violations of Due Process rights and other Constitutional considerations, most importantly that which arises through the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution as to protect the right to confront one’s accusers, as called for and analyzed using the two-prong test established by Crawford v. Washington (2004) 541 U.S. 36, 60, which is followed in the State of California through People v. Sanchez (2016) 63 Cal.4th 665, 680 (applying the same standard in California).
If successful, all of the issues mentioned would require a reversal, therefore making bail on appeal appropriate. Per the document, reversal is required when under Crawford a witness is unavailable, and a defendant is not afforded the ability to cross-examine the witness in question. The key witness Kelsey Harris in Tory’s trial was definitionally “unavailable” in two instances, and due to such, the entirety of an interview with the district attorney’s office was admitted into the record. Not only, arguably, was this statement riddled with hearsay and double hearsay, but additionally, it was testimonial and as such Crawford requires the two prongs in the test supra be satisfied. Appellant Peterson’s rights were not afforded to him under the Confrontation Clause.
What Should The Outcome Be?
Crystal Morgan with Unite The People made great arguments throughout the bail motion. In conclusion, per the documents, Crystal respectfully requested that the court exercise its discretion to permit Daystar Peterson’s release from custody on reasonable bail pending the finality of his appeal. If granted, bail it will allow him to continue his employment while staying in the Los Angeles area, so that he may continue to support and lead his family and be present during these formidable years with his young son. Based upon this Motion, and the previously mitigating factors, which were presented at his sentencing hearing, Daystar Peterson’s request for bail pending appeal is warranted.
View The Full Bail Motion Or Click Here
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- Join me on October 6, 2023 on Twitter/X Spaces for a Q&A with Unite The People CEO Ceaser McDowell at 2pm pst/4pm cst/5pm est