On Wednesday, an appeals court agreed with Jussie Smollett’s lawyers that he should be released from jail while he appeals his conviction for lying to police about a racist and homophobic attack. He was sentenced to two years in prison.
Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in jail last week by a judge in Cook County, Illinois. He was convicted of five felony counts of lying to police. The former star of the TV show “Empire” went on a rant right after the sentence was given. He said that he was innocent and that he didn’t do anything wrong “I’m not going to kill myself. It doesn’t matter what happens to me when I go into that place. I did not do it. Surely, you all know that.
After posting a bond of $150,000, the appeals court said that Smollett could be released. This means that he doesn’t have to pay money but agrees to come to court as needed. At the end of Wednesday, it wasn’t clear when he might be freed.
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Smollett’s lawyers said that he would be done with the sentence by the time the appeal process was over, and that he could be in danger of physical harm if he stayed in Cook County Jail. In the office of a special prosecutor, they called the claim “factually wrong.” “in response to the move.
The court’s decision is the last chapter in a weird story that started in January 2019. Smollett, who is black and gay, told Chicago police that two men in ski masks attacked him because he was black and gay. The search for the attackers soon turned into a search for Smollett himself and his arrest on charges that he planned the attack and lied to police about it.
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The investigation found that Smollett paid two men he knew from his work on “Empire” to stage the attack, and they did it for him.
Jurors found him guilty of five felony counts of disorderly conduct in December. This is the charge used when someone lies to police. He was found not guilty on the sixth charge. If Smollett had been good, he could have been out of prison in as little as 75 days. That’s what Judge James Linn said last week when he sentenced him to 150 days in jail. During the trial, Smollett said that he was not guilty.
It was signed by Appellate Court Justices Thomas Hoffman and Joy Cunningham, but Justice Maureen Connors didn’t agree with the order.
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