Jussie Smollett was released from prison pending appeal against his sentence

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Jussie Smollett was released from prison pending appeal against his sentence


“There is no room for politics in our justice system,” defense attorney Nenye Uche said at a news conference shortly after the actor’s release. “Regardless of what you think about this case … the real question is: should black people be taken to prison for a class 4 crime?”

“This is a shame,” added the lawyer. Uche, as well as other team lawyers who spoke on Wednesday, criticized the judge who sentenced Smollett last week. Cook County Judge James Linn spoke with the actor for more than half an hour, criticizing his actions.

“The judge spent a lot of time punishing, beating my client,” Uche said. “I’ve never seen this before.”

For the past six days in prison, Smollett has eaten nothing but ice water, Uche said.

The appeals court order, issued Wednesday, states that Smollett “will be released from custody … after sending a personal identification (I Bond) in the amount of $ 150,000.” A personal recognition bond in Illinois means that a person is released on the condition that he will participate in all future legal proceedings required, usually without having to pay money.

Smollett’s defense filed the emergency motion last week, arguing that he would be “irreparably damaged” if he served a sentence for sentences that could be revoked, adding that he would likely serve prison before the completion of his appeal.

The lawyers added that exposure to Covid-19 is a serious risk because Smollett is immunocompromised.

The court upheld the lawyers’ request, reasoning that he would not be “able to have immediate recourse before the accused has served the entire prison sentence.”

In their response filed Wednesday, prosecutors vehemently disagreed with the defense’s reasoning, arguing that there is “no emergency deserving the extraordinary relief” of delaying Smollett’s sentence while his appeal is pending.

“Mr. Smollett says he is entitled to a stay because he will most likely serve his short prison sentence of 150 days before his appeal on the merits is decided,” part of the response read. “According to this logic, any defendant sentenced to a prison sentence of less than a few years will automatically receive a suspension pending appeal”.

Actor Jussie Smollett was released from prison Wednesday night.

Smollett had a short outburst last week

Smollett was found guilty in December on five counts of disorderly conduct for making false reports about what he said was a hate crime against gays and against blacks.
The return of Jussie Smollett to acting
The actor, who is black and gay, told Chicago police that two unknown men attacked him on a night in January 2019, yelled at him racist and homophobic slurs, poured bleach and wrapped a string around him. to the neck. But investigators said they determined the actor orchestrated the attack and paid two brothers he knew from the Fox drama series to stage the act for commercials.

Smollett kept his innocence under oath during the trial.

But during last week’s ruling, Judge James Linn told Smollett, “You are not a victim of a hate crime, you are not a victim of a homophobic hate crime. You are just a charlatan pretending to be a victim of hate crime. a crime. I hate crimes. “

The judge spoke for more than half an hour during the proceedings, telling the plaintiff that while many people vouched for Smollett and his character and asked the judge for a lenient sentence, Smollett’s premeditation in the act he orchestrated is was an “aggravating factor” in the box.

“You have a good experience of true community service,” the judge said Thursday. “I am aware of the pleas for mercy, especially the people who are in the arena.” But ultimately, the judge said, this act showed Smollett’s “dark side”.

After the announcement of the sentence, Smollett turned to the judge, saying “I didn’t do it”, before going to the court and exclaiming that he is not suicidal, and that “if something happens to me when I go in there, I won’t be there. ‘I did it to myself. And you must all know it. “

The judge ordered that Smollett be held in custody “at the request of Mr. Smollett and on the recommendation of this court,” CNN previously reported.

On Friday, the actor was housed “in his own cell, which is monitored by security cameras in the cell and an officer wearing a body-worn camera who is stationed at the cell entrance to make sure Mr. Smollett is under direct observation at all times, ”the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said, noting that the actor was not being held in solitary confinement.

The lawyer calls the charges unconstitutional

Smollett was initially indicted in March 2019 on 16 counts of criminal disorderly conduct after police found his reports to be false.
In an extraordinary turnaround days later, prosecutors announced they would drop all charges. In a Chicago Sun-Times editorial published last week, Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx defended her office’s decision, saying Smollett had already forfeited a $ 10,000 bail, hadn’t been charged with a crime. violent before and had paid a “reputation price” for what he did. The incident effectively ended Smollett’s acting career.
Jussie Smollett convicted of hate crime hoax.  Here's how we got here
Dan K. Webb, the special prosecutor subsequently assigned to the case, announced that he would further prosecute Smollett. In February 2020, a Cook County grand jury returned a charge of six counts against the plaintiff for making false news, five of which Smollett was ultimately convicted and sentenced.
A misconduct charge for a false crime report is a class 4 felony and punishable by up to three years in prison and a $ 25,000 fine.

Webb said last week that he was “extraordinarily pleased” with the award awarded by Judge Linn and that the judge’s comments showed “he clearly understood … that this was conduct that deserved severe punishment.”

But at the press conference on Wednesday night, Uche, one of Smollett’s attorneys, called the proceedings unconstitutional, as Smollett had been charged earlier, paid $ 10,000, and served community service.

“When this case was initially re-indicted, when this case was prosecuted, when this case was convicted, at each of these steps I wondered if Chicago had surrendered from the Union. Why in this country you can’t punish one person two times, “said the lawyer. “While everyone was focused on the sensationalism surrounding this case, people weren’t focused on the constitutionality of the prosecution.”


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