Jussie Smollett goes free…for now

Former Empire Actor, Jussie Smollett was released from jail Wednesday evening. The actor was seen leaving Cook County jail at 8 pm with his attorneys. On Monday, Smollett’s attorneys requested his release saying serving time in prison put Jussie Smollett’s mental and physical health at risk. Last week, a judge sentenced Smollett to 30 months probation with the first 150 days to be served in Cook County jail. Smollett was taken into custody immediately following his sentencing hearing.

In the order issued by the Appellate Court, the judges agreed in a 2 to 1 vote to grant the motion by the defense based on the fact that Jussie Smollett had no previous violent convictions. Justice Maureen Conners was the dissenting vote. Prosecutors opposed the motion saying Jussie Smollett “manufactured an alleged emergency to secure his release. They further argued that Smollett was never in danger or unsafe and that all necessary precautions had been taken while Smollett was in custody.

In a press conference outside of Cook County jail, Smollett’s attorney, Nenye Uche said the family was pleased with the day’s developments. He also said he vehemently disagreed with Judge Linn’s sentence calling it excessive. “Should a Black man be walked into jail for a class 4 felony”? Shame on you if you think they should.

Jussie Smollett was convicted in December of five counts of disorderly conduct for lying to the police in an alleged 2019 racist and homophobic attack. Despite his conviction, Smollett maintains his innocence. After being admonished by the judge during his sentencing, Smollett defiantly yelled, “Your honor, I respect you, and I respect the jury, but I did not do this. And I am not suicidal, and if anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself…” As he was taken into custody, he threw his fist up and yelled again, “I could’ve said I was guilty a long time ago!”

Prior to his release, Smollett signed a 150,000-recognizance bond. Smollett’s attorneys plan to appeal the verdict.

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