'Privilege isn't race, it's wealth': Outrage after Jussie Smollett released, just 5 DAYS into sentence

Furious users slam decision to release Smollett, who was convicted of faking a hate crime while Jan 6 insurrectionists are still serving time


                            'Privilege isn't race, it's wealth': Outrage after Jussie Smollett released, just 5 DAYS into sentence
Jussie Smollett arrives at the Leighton Courts Building on November 29, 2021, in Chicago, Illinois (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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Jussie Smollett was released from the county jail on March 16, 2022, pending the appeal of his conviction. An appeals court sided with Smollett's lawyers in a 2-1 decision, just the latest stunner from the 'Empire' actor's controversial case. Social media was furious at the decision, and quickly made their feelings known with some angry reactions at the decision.

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Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in Cook County Prison after a jury found him guilty on five felony counts of lying to the police. He was convicted in December, and sentenced to serve time immediately from March 10 by Judge James Linn. Smollett did himself no favors after an outburst over the decision, saying "I am not suicidal."  Ever since then, he's been fighting to get out, claiming everything from Covid to fears of violence. 

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It appears his efforts paid off after the appeals court ruled in his favor on March 16. Smollett was released after posting a personal recognizance bond of $150,000, pending the appeal of his guilty verdict. During the hearing over his release, Smollett's lawyers argued that he would have "completed the sentence by the time the appeal process was completed", and noted he was in danger of physical harm. The second claim has little merit, as Cook County officials confirmed that the actor was being held in the jail's psych ward under close supervision and isolated from other prisoners.

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His defense also argued he was at greater risk of Covid because he was immunocompromised. "Regardless of what you think about this case ... the real question is, should Black men be walked into jail for a Class 4 felony?" asked attorney Nenye Uche representing Smollett. Appellate Court Justices Thomas Hoffman and Joy Cunningham sided with Smollett, while Justice Maureen Connors dissented. 

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Actor Jussie Smollett is led out of the courtroom after being sentenced at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on March 10, 2022, in Chicago, Illinois (Brian Cassella-Pool/Getty Images)

 

'Must be nice to be privileged like him'

Hours after the decision, Smollett walked out of Cook County Jail surrounded by bodyguards. Photos from his release have now gone viral, with the internet slamming the decision. "Jussie Smollett has already been released, serving less than a week of his 5-month sentence. I knew this would happen. Privilege is real, but the main driver isn't gender or race. It's social status and wealth, and Smollett has both," one person tweeted.

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Another said, "Jussie Smollett being released only serves to remind us All that there is NO EQUAL JUSTICE in America anymore!" A third commented, "So, liberal crybaby wimp @JussieSmollett gets released from jail, while his appeal is pending. He faked a hate crime. Must be nice to be privileged like him."

A fourth tweeted, "Judge orders Jussie Smollett to be released!!! Where is the justice??? Talk about wrong and a two tier justice system!!!"

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Others alluded to the situation of those convicted of participating in the January 6 insurrection. "Would Jussie Smollett have been ordered to be released by a judge if he was a white male Trump supporter? Real Americans would like to know!" one person said.

Another asked, "Why was convicted felon Jussie Smollett just released from jail pending his appeal β€” yet presumed innocent J6 defendants are still locked up?"

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Another referred to Wikileaks Julian Assange and tweeted, "When Jussie Smollett gets released from jail but Julian Assange remains locked up, the world has gone mad."


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