After being arrested last year on racketeering, weapons and drugs charges, 6ix9ine will face his official sentencing hearing this week. The 23-year-old rapper, a.k.a Tekashi69 (real name Daniel Hernandez), pled guilty to these charges in February 2019 and shortly thereafter signed a plea deal to cooperate with federal prosecutors in an exchange to avoid jail time. After months of testifying against fellow Nine Trey gang members, Hernandez is up for a possible release from prison after his hearing this Wednesday. Yep. While his crimes warrant up to 47 years in prison, Hernandez might get off easy — really, really easy. And it wouldn’t be the first time.
The Bushwick Dummy Boy narrowly avoided prison time several years ago, too. In 2015, he was charged with a felony count for use of a child in a sexual performance. And while Hernandez pled guilty then, he received only a four-year probation period and a clean community service order. If that’s what happened when the rapper appeared in a pornographic video with a child, we’re not sure the justice system will prove fair this time around either. And while enabling someone so toxic to return to his celebrity status is already enough of a problem (as is the fact that other artists — ahem, Nicki Minaj — continue supporting him), there’s an even larger issue at play here when it comes to how many reacted to his trial. Some were more preoccupied with the fact that Tekashi69 was a snitch than bothered by his criminal track record in the first place.
It’s this kind of energy that seems to allow people like Hernandez to get off so easily time and time again. One New York City lawyer, Moe Gangat, believes he will be released with a sentence of “time served” as a result. In an Instagram video posted this weekend, Gangat explains, “The government hasn’t asked for any sentence, and when the government doesn’t ask for any sentence, what they’re saying is: Time served, no sentence.”
In addition, according to paperwork filed last week, both the probation department and Hernandez’s lawyers are also recommending a sentence of time served. “In the southern district of New York, judges almost always go with the recommendation of the probation department, especially when the probation department and the defense attorneys are both recommending the same thing,” Gangat says. So what does that mean for Hernandez? You guessed it: possibly no more jail time.
However, this is all thoughtful speculation. We’ll have to wait until Wednesday for the court’s official ruling. Until then, read up on why we should all continue holding artists like 6ix9ine accountable, even when media or the justice system fails to.