Judge orders Jussie Smollett be released from jail on bond pending his hate crime hoax conviction appeal
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A court ordered the release of Jussie Smollett from jail on bond as the appeal of his conviction is pending.
Smollett was recently sentenced to 150 days in jail after he was convicted of lying to Chicago police about being the victim of a hate crime back in 2019. The “Empire” actor was convicted on five felony counts of disorderly conduct for lying to police.
On Wednesday, the appeals court, in a 2-1 decision, said Smollett could be released after posting a personal recognizance bond of $150,000, meaning he doesn’t have to put down money but agrees to come to court as required. It was unclear late Wednesday how soon he may be released.
On top of 150 days in jail, Smollett was also given 30 months felony probation, restitution to the city of Chicago in the amount of $120,106 and a fine of $25,000.
Smollett’s attorneys had argued that he would have completed the jail sentence by the time the appeal process was completed and that Smollett could be in danger of physical harm if he remained locked up in Cook County Jail.
Jussie Smollett is led out of the courtroom after being sentenced at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on March 10, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois.
(Brian Cassella-Pool/Getty Images)
Smollett, who is Black and gay, reported to Chicago police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack by two men wearing ski masks in January 2019. The manhunt for the attackers soon turned into an investigation of Smollett himself and his arrest on charges that he’d orchestrated the attack and lied to police about it.
During his sentencing, Smollett maintained his innocence.
“I did not do this, and I am not suicidal, and if anything happens to me when I go there, I did not do it to myself, and you must all know that,” Smollett said during the sentencing hearing.
Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in jail, 30 months probation, ordered to pay $120,000 restitution to the city of Chicago and fined $25,000.
(Cook County Sheriff’s Office via AP)
“Your honor, I respect you, and I respect your decision, but I did not do this, and I am not suicidal. If anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself, and you must all know that.”
Smollett’s lawyers later filed a motion to have the actor released from jail pending his appeal, claiming Smollett was “the target” of vicious threats.
“Mr. Smollett has become the 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,” the filing, obtained by Fox News Digital, said.
However, a judge ordered Smollett be released from jail pending the appeal of his conviction.
(Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune via AP)
“Mr. Smollett anticipates he will most likely be assigned to segregated incarceration or protective custody, both euphemisms for solitary confinement; a situation which could have extraordinary damage on his mental health,” the filing continued. “As a result, any custodial setting poses a safety and health danger to the life of Mr. Smollett.”
Smollett began his jail sentence in protective custody and was later placed in a psych ward, according to his brother.
A rep for Smollett did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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