Court orders Jussie Smollett release from jail during appeal

On Wednesday, an appeals court ordered that Jussie Smollett be released from jail in an agreement with his lawyers that he should be let go as the appeal of his conviction for lying to police about a racist and homophobic attack is pending.

Last week, a Cook County judge sentenced Smollett to begin serving 150 days in jail for his conviction on five felony counts.

The appeals court noted in the ruling that Smollett could be released from jail after posting a personal recognizance bond of $150,000. Smollett’s attorneys argued in the case that his sentence would have been completed by the time the appeal process was finalized and that Smollett could potentially be in danger of physical harm if he were to stay imprisoned in the Cook County Jail. 

The court’s decision marks the newest revelation in a story that began in January 2019, when Smollett, an actor who is black and gay, reported to Chicago police that he had been the victim of a racist and homophobic attack by two men who were wearing ski masks.

The hunt for the attackers quickly turned into an investigation of Smollett, and he was subsequently arrested on charges that he had organized the attack and lied to police about it. The investigation uncovered that Smollett paid two men he knew from his work on the TV show “Empire” to carry out the attack.

In December, Smollett was convicted by a jury on five felony counts of disorderly conduct, which is the charge filed when a person lies to the police, but he was acquitted on a sixth count.

Judge James Linn sentenced Smollett to 150 days in jail last week, but he would be eligible for release in as few as 75 days on good behavior. Throughout the trial, Smollett maintained his innocence, going as far as shouting at the judge that he was innocent during his sentencing. 




Leave a Reply