Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., also known as T.I. or T.I.P. / Tip, has just been sentenced to one year and a day in prison following weapons charges stemming from his arrest in October 2007. The rapper must present himself voluntarily to prison to start serving his sentence within six to eight weeks, the presiding judge ruled, but he will not do so before May 19 on account of several already made commitments, as MTV News can confirm.
The arrest of the 28-year-old rapper was subject to a lot of media coverage, but not as much as his behavior before being sentenced was, though. Instead of facing more jail time, the artist and his legal team devised a plea that seems to have worked wonderfully for both parties, with the presiding judge calling it “experimental” but a tremendous success the other day, before passing the sentence. So, instead of more time behind bars, T.I. agreed to do community work, pay a fine, spend one year and a day in prison and enroll in several counseling programs once he’s out.
“Under the plea deal, T.I. (real name: Clifford Harris) must submit to a number of rigorous requirements after his release from prison. The rapper will be subjected to an audit of his finances, drug counseling, DNA testing and random searches of his property, and he will not be able to own firearms. He will also be under home confinement after his release under the same pre-trial conditions, which included a curfew, permission-only travel and a court-appointed supervisor.” MTV informs, adding that there is hope that this type of deal be used as a model by other people dealing with similar legal problems.
The rapper’s behavior before being served his sentence has been nothing short of exemplary, several supporters and his legal team pointed out in court the other day. So far, he has completed more than the 1,000 required hours of community work, 305 days of the one-year mandatory house confinement (with the remaining of it to be served once he gets out of jail), and has paid most of the $100,000+ fine. In exchange for all this, T.I. could be out of prison before the one-year sentence is over on good behavior, if warranted, the same media outlet mentions.
After being sentenced, T.I. personally addressed the court in what has been described as a “sober 10-minute speech.” Although not trying to come up with excuses for his past mistakes, he did make several mentions to the excellent education he received as he was growing up but also to his “misguided youth,” saying that the death of his good friend Philant Johnson could be seen as a cause for his troubled behavior. “This has been the most insightful moment in my life,” T.I. added. “I’ve taken the great lesson from it and I will use it in my life. With that, I bid you adieu.”