Court Orders Jussie Smollett Released From Jail Pending Appeal
After his attorneys put in a request to have their client released pending the appeal of his case, Empire actor Jussie Smollett was ordered to be released from jail on Wednesday.
According to NBC News, a court has granted a motion Wednesday that allows Smollett to be released from jail pending an appeal. The motion requested that the sentence be stayed, or placed on hold. The actor left jail at around 8 p.m. and got into a waiting vehicle as he was led away without answering any questions.
Smollett is appealing a recent sentence of 150 days in jail and probation after he was convicted of falsely reporting to police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in 2019.
Last week, Cook County Circuit Judge James Linn also gave Smollett 30 months’ probation along with the jail term. He was also instructed to pay approximately $120,100 in restitution to the city of Chicago and was also fined $25,000.
The attorney for Smollett, Nenye Uche, stated that the process his client has gone through has been unconstitutional.
When Smollett was arrested and indicted in 2019, the charges against him were dropped. A deal was made that included community service and forfeiture of a $10,000 bond. After the deal was made, a special prosecutor was appointed, and Smollett was then indicted in 2020, which led to the recent trial, conviction, and sentence.
“In this country, you cannot punish a person twice,” Uche said to reporters.
Earlier this year, according to TMZ, lawyers for the former Empire actor filed an emergency motion on Monday asking a judge to release Smollett from jail while awaiting his appeal. They claim several factors should be considered in releasing him, including threats sent to his family, and they cite that it affects his mental health.
As BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported, the now-disgraced former Empire star was found guilty of five counts of disorderly conduct for making false crime reports to Chicago police, saying he was a hate crime victim in 2019.
On the sixth count, Smollett was acquitted of lying to a detective in February, several weeks after he initially claimed he was attacked.