After less than a week behind bars on a 150-day sentence for faking a hate crime, Jussie Smollett will be walking out of the Cook County Jail today.
A one-page order unceremoniously released by the Illinois Appellate Court on Wednesday granted the motion for a stay of the sentence from the former Empire actor’s lawyers. 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 would likely already have served his jail time sentence before his appeal had gotten very far. The order also noted the fact 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.
The process around that bond and Smollett walking out a free man for now is taking place immediately, I hear.
Convicted on December 9, 2020 over the widely covered January 2019 so-called MAGA attack, Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in jail on March 10 as part of an overall sentence of 30 months probation. That sentence also included $120,106 in restitution to the Windy City for cops’ overtime on his initial case and a further $25,000 fine.
Just before being led away by deputies after a visibly angered Judge James Linn handed down the sentence, Smollett stood up at the defense table and yelled “I am not suicidal!”
“If anything happens to me in there, I did not do it,” the actor continued. As he was being escorted out of the courtroom, Smollett raised his fist in the air and loudly declared: “I am not suicidal, I am innocent!”
As sibling Jurnee Smollett, Empire co-star Taraji P. Henson and others plead for the actor who played Jamal Lyon on the Lee Daniels and Danny Strong created hip hop drama to be released, Smollett was placed in protective custody. Under armed guard surveillance and cameras constantly to prevent a Jeffrey Epstein-like death, Smollett was moved to the psychiatric ward, as revealed by his brother on social media.
Unsurprisingly, special prosecutor Daniel Webb unsuccessfully opposed the move to free Smollett.
“Not only is Smollett not being held in solitary confinement, but the Cook County sheriff’s office made public the specific measures that are being taken to ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of Mr. Smollett while he serves his jail term,” the former Iran Contra lawyer told the Prairie State Appellate Court Wednesday on the relatively benign conditions the actor was enjoying for his incarceration.
Now, there’ll be more courtroom drama in this sad saga.
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