On Thursday night, Jussie Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in the Cook County jail, as well as 30 months of probation. Judge James Linn also ordered him to pay a $25,000 dollar fine and $120,000 dollars in restitution to the City of Chicago.
In December 2021, a jury found the former “Empire” actor guilty of five out of six accounts of disorderly conduct for filing false police reports. In January 2019, Smollett claimed that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack where two men put a noose around his attack. However, two brothers came forward and testified against Smollett, saying that Smollett had paid them to stage the phony hate crime.
One Legal Expert Calls Jussie Smollett’s Prison Sentence ‘Justified’ Given The Crime
After the sentencing was read, criminal defense attorney Ally F. Keegan of the Law Office of David P. Shapiro told Fox News that she believed that his sentencing was fair.
Keegan, who was not involved in the case, explained, “Judge James Linn noted he had two sentencing options: either a probationary period with up to 180 days in jail or up to three years in prison.”
She continued to say that “the judge recounted the numerous factors he believed made the case reprehensible: that Smollett had planned the hoax so meticulously, the negative impact it could have on real victims of hate crimes, the waste of law enforcement time and resources to investigate it, and Smollett’s own testimony that the judge said ‘can only be described as pure perjury.’”
“The sentence can be justified by Smollett’s lack of prior criminal history and other mitigation filed by his attorneys, particularly letters of support from prominent social justice and community leaders,” she continued.
“While the next step in the legal process may be an appeal, Smollett must also face the court of public opinion moving forward; in pursuing his acting career or anything else,” Keegan added.
Another Legal Expert Found Jussie Smollett’s Sentencing ‘ Fairly Harsh’
A criminal defense attorney and managing partner of Zweiback, Fiset & Coleman, Rachel Fiset, told Fox News that she felt that a 30-month felony probationary period seemed “harsh.”
“The judge gave a lengthy explanation of his reasoning behind his determination of this sentence. The sentence provides for approximately five months in jail, which is significantly less than the maximum, but a fairly harsh 30 months of probation supervised by the court,” she said. “The probation, however, allows for Smollett to travel freely and ‘call-in’ to report on his status – which greatly lessens the impact of the term of probation. Overall, I believe this sentence fairly reflects the severity of the crimes of which Smollett was convicted.”
After the sentencing, Smollett repeatedly stated, “I am not suicidal” for the court to hear. “I respect you, your honor,” Smollett said. “I am not suicidal. If anything happens to me in there I did not do it to myself.”
Keegan noted this in her discussion with Fox News, saying, “As he was brought into custody to begin his sentence, Smollett shouted that he is innocent but not suicidal, so any harm that may come to him while in custody will not be self-inflicted.”
Users Joke About How The Judge ‘Roasted’ Jussie Smollett Prior To Sentencing
After being criticized by Judge James Linn for almost forty minutes for wasting police resources, the actor raised his fist into the air before being led out of the courtroom.
“Good lord that judge roasted him,” one user commented.
“Nobody should stick up for this guy. Especially black people,” another shared. “This dude and people like him hurt actual people who are discriminated against. Beyond race this guy also represents another problem in America, lack of honesty, morals and values.”
“Love judge he went to the point. Telling him how many Americans and his fans feel,” another commented. “Praying for him and his family. He really needed that reality check.”
“This dude is clearly still living in a false reality and hasn’t learned his lesson,” another user wrote.
“It’s so sad to see someone who was talented at acting go down this way,” another wrote. “I think sometimes people who make more money than most think they are above the law and should receive special treatment. You would think that he would just accept that Lil light sentence and walk away regretting his actions, but not him, he doesn’t stand for or represent anyone but himself. Stuff like this just makes it harder on people of color who actually have racists things happen to them but don’t have the money or means to afford a good attorney to defend them. What a waste of talent life and most importantly…Respect! I seriously doubt he will ever admit he lied and be remorseful for his actions.”