Appeals court rules against latest Downey furlough
March 6, 1998
Downey is serving six months in jail for violating his probation on drug charges
Web posted at: 12:28 p.m. EST (1728 GMT)
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Robert Downey Jr.'s new movie, "U.S.
Marshals," comes out Friday, but the jailed actor will not.
An appeals court ruling blocked Downey from being released
from jail for the day to work at a Hollywood studio on
Thursday's ruling by the California Court of Appeals came
after Los Angeles County Sheriff Sherman Block contested the
release order issued by Malibu Municipal Court Judge Lawrence
Mira. It would have allowed Downey to go to Paramount Studios
to do post-production work on "In Dreams."
Under a lower court order, the Oscar-nominated actor has
already taken three daylong furloughs, going twice to
Paramount and once to Warner Bros. in the past two months
while he has been serving six months for violating probation
on drug charges.
Mira, the judge who sentenced Downey, had given Downey
permission to leave the Twin Towers Correctional Facility
under sheriff's deputy guard as long as the actor paid the
costs. Downey was docked jail credit for the days he was out.
Mira, in explaining his reasoning, said the outings seemed to
boost Downey's self-esteem, maybe helping him shake his drug
Sheriff complained of 'capricious' furlough
But the sheriff's department complained that Mira acted
"arbitrarily, capriciously and in excess of the court's
"The sheriff's department is pleased with this decision,"
spokeswoman Angie Pruett said. "As a result, Robert Downey
Jr. will not be going to Paramount studios tomorrow."
Downey's attorney, Ira Reiner, was not immediately available
The 32-year-old actor was sentenced in November 1996 to three
years probation after pleading no contest to possessing
cocaine and heroin, carrying a concealed weapon and driving
under the influence of drugs.
The son of filmmaker Robert Downey, he was nominated for an
Academy Award for his title role in the 1992 film "Chaplin."
Reuters contributed to this report.