Chicago Law Update: Embattled actor Jussie Smollett Ordered Released from Jail on Bond Pending Appeal

Smollett loudly declared innocence after the sentence. “I am innocent. I could have said I am guilty a long time ago,” Smollett shouted as sheriff’s deputies led him out of the courtroom, after the over 4 hour sentencing.

After serving less than a week behind bars on a 150-day sentence for faking a hate crime, Jussie Smollett will soon be a free man.

A one-page order unceremoniously released by the Illinois Appellate Court on Wednesday in a 2-1 decision granted the motion from from Smollett lawyers for a stay of the sentence. Denied an appeal by the sentencing judge last week, the defense team sought to set Smollett free while his appeal on five felony convictions is pending.

The Appellate Court judge agreed, citing that Smollett likely already would have served his jail time sentence before his appeal had gotten very far. The order also noted that the actor had never been convicted of a violent crime. In fact, the paperwork’s only real demand was that Smollett put up a $150,000 personal recognizance bond.

Cook County Judge James Linn sentenced Smollett to 30 months of felony probation, including 150 days in the county jail, and denied a request to suspend Smollett’s sentence and ordered he be placed in custody immediately.

Smollett was also ordered to pay $120,106 in restitution to the city of Chicago.

Smollett loudly declared innocence after the sentence. “I am innocent. I could have said I am guilty a long time ago,” Smollett shouted as sheriff’s deputies led him out of the courtroom, after the over 4 hour sentencing.

Jussie Smollett’s grandmother, testifying for the defense, asking the judge for no prison time in the sentence for Smollett.

“I ask you, judge, not to send him to prison,” Molly Smollett, 92, told the court. She later added, “If you do, send me along with him, OK?”

Smollett’s brother, Joel Smollett, Jr., told the court that Smollett is “not a threat to the people of Illinois. In my humble opinion he is completely innocent.”

The Back Story

In December 2021, Smollett was convicted in a trial that included the testimony of two brothers who told jurors Smollett paid them to carry out the attack, gave them money for the ski masks and rope, instructed them to fashion the rope into a noose. Prosecutors said he told them what racist and homophobic slurs to shout, and to yell that Smollett was in “MAGA Country,” a reference to the campaign slogan of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

The judge agreed to let photographers and a television camera inside court for the hearing, so the public got to see and hear Smollett speak in court for the first time, Unlike the trail which photos and video was banned.

 Cook County Sheriff’s Office said that while Smollett “is not being held in solitary confinement” — a practice “abolished” at the jail in 2016 — the performer “is being housed in his own cell, which is monitored by security cameras in the cell and by an officer wearing a body-worn camera who is stationed at the entrance of the cell to ensure that Mr. Smollett is under direct observation at all times.

https://nypost.com/2022/03/15/jussie-smolletts-legal-team-demands-emergency-release/

Courtesy of Fox News
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