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Jussie Smollett released from jail on bond during appeal


Sentenced to 150 days in jail and 30 months felony probation by a Chicago court just one week ago, the Empire actor Jussie Smollett has been released from jail following an appeals court order on March 16th. 

Sent to prison after being found guilty in December of five counts of felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report after a 2019 incident, Smollett was fined $25,000 and ordered to pay $120,106 in restitution. Yesterday, however, the court sided with the actor’s lawyers, ordering that Smollett should be released pending the appeal of his conviction, with his release being contingent on a personal recognisance bond of $150,000.

Maintaining his innocence after the sentencing last week, Smollett announced he was “not suicidal,” in the Chicago courtroom. The crime in question occurred back on January 29th, 2019, when Smollett reported to the police that he had been the victim of a hate crime whereupon two men wearing ski masks approached him at 2:00 in the morning and attacked him with rope and bleach.

Upon further investigation, it became clear that Smollett had paid two actors to fake the attack as a publicity stunt. 

Sentencing the actor at the original trial, Cook County Judge James Linn stated, “Let me tell you, Mr. Smollett, that there is nothing I can do here today that will come close to the damage that you have already done to your own life. You’ve turned your life upside down by your misconduct and your shenanigans”. 

Hearing letters from the Black Lives Matter Group as well as Samuel L. Jackson and his wife LaTanya Richardson Jackson, asking the judge to seek “an alternative to incarceration,” such pleas were not heeded and Jussie Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in jail.