Jussie Smollett to be RELEASED from jail during appeal of his 150-day sentence
Smollett's lawyers filed an emergency motion to postpone his five-month sentence on five counts of felony disorderly conduct
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: Jussie Smollett is set to be released from Cook County jail while lawyers appeal his conviction, an Illinois state appellate court ruled on Wednesday, March 16. Just two days ago, Smollett's lawyers filed an emergency motion to postpone his five-month sentence on five counts of felony disorderly conduct.
According to a judge, Smollett would be released from the Chicago jail on a $150,000 individual bond during the appeal, as he was convicted of “non-violent” offenses. The terms of the I-Bond says that Smollett would only be required to pay money if he skipped his court dates. The release was opposed by special prosecutor Dan Webb, who said there was “no emergency that warrants the extraordinary relief of staying” the sentence.
Jocqui Smollett, Smollett's brother, had alleged that the Empire' actor was wrongfully declared at risk of self-harm by Cook County, Illinois jail officials and was initially relocated to a mental unit as he began his five-month term. The choice to isolate his brother was 'angering,' according to Jocqui, who reaffirmed his brother's claims of innocence made at his sentence hearing.
As per a law-enforcement source, Smollett was in the psych ward since it's one of the locations in the jail where high-profile offenders are confined. Smollett, 39, was sentenced to 150 days in prison on Thursday, March 10, after being found guilty of five counts of disorderly conduct for making false allegations to Chicago police in January 2019 that he was verbally and physically assaulted by two men. Smollett's lawyers argued that he would have completed the sentence by the time the appeal process was completed
On March 10, 2022, Smollett ended up being slammed for yelling "If anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself, and you must all know that" during his sentencing. It was reported that the Cook County Jail where the actor would be housed, run by the Cook County Department of Corrections, has been known for its poor conditions and mass fights.
Smollett had claimed that he was walking home from a Subway restaurant on January 29, 2019, when he was attacked by two men wearing ski masks. The men, he claimed, hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him, and even put a noose around his neck. Smollett alleged that one of the attackers appeared to be White. While being assaulted, he allegedly heard one assailant yell, “This is MAGA country" — a reference to then-President Donald Trump’s slogan.
Smollett's manager called the police and cops arrived to find that the noose was still hanging around his neck. “I just wanted y’all to see it,” Smollett had told them. However, two brothers — Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo — later informed police that Smollett had faked the attack. They said that Smollett made them stage the assault in an attempt to grab the attention of his 'Empire' (musical drama) bosses. Smollett was ultimately charged with giving a false report to the police.
In a shocking move later, Cook County prosecutors dropped the charges after Smollett's indictment. Following a mass outcry after this incident, a special prosecutor, Dan Webb, was appointed. Just before the pandemic hit, Webb and his team brought a new indictment against Smollett in February 2020. Finally, on November 29, 2021 the evidence against Smollett was publicly aired in court.