On March 10, actor Jussie Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in the Cook County jail, as well as 30 months of probation. Not only was he ordered to pay a $25,000 dollar fine, but he was also ordered to pay $120,106 dollars of 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 phony police reports. In January 2019, Smollett claimed that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack. He alleged that one of the attackers even put a noose around his neck. However, two brothers came forward and testified against Smollett, saying that Smollett had paid them to orchestrate the attack.
On March 16, less than a week after his sentencing, Smollett was released from jail.
Jussie Smollett Served Less Than A Week In Jail Despite 150-Day Sentence
Although Judge James Linn ordered that Smollett spend 150 days in jail to contemplate his actions, Smollett served less than a week. Deadline reported that he would be released from the Cook County Jail on Wednesday, March 16.
A single page released from the Illinois Appellate Court granted the motion from Smollett’s legal team to set him free while his attorneys work on appealing his five felony convictions. His legal team has stated that it would have been likely that Smollett would have already served his jail time before his appeal could be heard. They also argued that Smollett had never been convicted of a violent crime.
Smollett was freed after putting up a $150,000 personal recognizance bond.
Jussie Smollett’s Legal Team Attempts To Appeal Based On Double Jeopardy
On March 14, The Blast obtained court documents asking the court to allow Jussie to post bail.
The documents alleged that Smollett had already reached an agreement with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in March 2019, where he was ordered to complete community service and forfeit his $10,000 dollar bond to the City of Chicago. Despite this previous agreement, Smollett was later charged on February 12, 2020 “based on the same facts as the 2019 case,” as stated in the court documents.
“For good cause shown, judicial economy and efficient administration of justice, it is in the best interests of the parties for this reviewing court to stay the enforcement of incarceration of Mr. Smollett, to waive the appeal bond, or in the alternative enter a time for Mr. Smollett to pay a just and reasonable bond,” the document states. Smollett’s attorneys have alleged that “he will be irreparably harmed if he serves a sentence based on convictions which may be reversed on appeal.”
Many Express Concern For Jussie Smollett Due To ‘Vicious’ Social Media Threats
The documents also express concern for Smollett, based on the numerous social media messages that have been posted after his sentencing.
His attorney alleged that “Smollett has become a target of vicious threats in the social media forums which no doubt reflects the hatred and wish for physical harm towards Smollett which he may experience during incarceration.”
Smollett himself anticipated that “he will most likely be assigned a segregated incarceration or protective custody, but euphemisms for solitary confinement; a situation which could have extraordinary damage on his mental health.” They allege that “any custodial setting poses a safety and health danger to the life of Mr. Smollett.”
However, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office had submitted their own written statement shortly after his incarceration explaining what Smollett’s prison stay would look like and insisted that solitary confinement was abolished in 2016. “Any claims that he is being held in this manner is false,” they added.
The sheriff’s office explained that Smollett had been “housed in his own cell, which is monitored by security cameras in the cell and by officers wearing a body camera who is stationed at the entrance of the cell to ensure Mr. Smollett is under direct observation at all times.”
The written statement explained that Smollett had also been allowed “substantial time out of his cell in the common areas on the tier where he is housed,” which was the same privilege that they granted to “all detained persons.” During that time, Smollett had been able to “use the telephone, watch television, and interaction with staff.”