Not even a week after being convicted for staging a hoax hate crime on himself, disgraced actor Jussie Smollett has been released from jail pending the appeal of his 150-day sentence.
According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, after he signed a bond for $150,000, the Illinois Appellate Court issued a one-page order on Wednesday afternoon ordering the Empire actor to be released from Cook County Jail.
The Chicago Tribune declares that the only explanation why the order had been issued came down to the fact that “Smollett has never been convicted of a violent offense and would have completed his sentence of incarceration well before his appeal is decided.”
Smollett was released after a short 7 days in custody following his conviction last week for staging a hoax hate crime against himself in January of 2019.
According to the news outlet, special prosecutor Dan Webb fervently opposed the court’s decision to release the actor from jail, writing in a motion that the former Empire actor relied “on half-truths and misleading statements, at best, to manufacture an alleged emergency” in order to win his release on bond.
“Not only is Smollett not being held in solitary confinement, but the Cook County sheriff’s office [has] made public the specific measures that are being taken to ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of Mr. Smollett while he serves his jail term,” Webb wrote on Wednesday.
Since he was convicted last Thursday, Smollett had been housed in protective custody with cameras that registered his every move, including an officer sporting a body-worn camera that would check in on him at all times.
For his staging of the aforementioned hoax hate crime, Judge James Linn sentenced Jussie Smollett to pay $120,106 in restitution to the city of Chicago for their police force’s investigation costs, plus a $25,000 fine – minus the $10,000 the actor forfeited to the city of Chicago when his first case was dropped in Mach of 2019.
Additionally, he was ordered to serve 30 months of probation with the first 150 days to be served in the Cook County Jail.
In the wake of the disgraced actor’s sentence, Smollett told the judge, “If I did this, then it means I stuck my fist in the fears of Black Americans in this country for over 400 years, and the fears of the LGBT community.”
“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,” over-dramatically declared Smollet.
As reported by the LA Times on Tuesday, the actor’s attorney’s had petitioning the state appellate court to release Smollett from jail while his appeal was still pending. According to the information provided by the outlet, this measure was taken in hopes of preventing the actor’s mental and physical health from being put at risk.
The outlet also pointed out that Smollett’s family had raised concerns about the actor’s safety after allegedly receiving an anonymous phone threat directed towards the recently convicted actor.
The family claims that the caller threatened that Smollett “would be assaulted in jail in the way that inmate Abner Louima was notoriously brutalized in 1997 when a New York Police Department officer used a broomstick to sodomize the Haitian immigrant.”
In an Instagram post shared by the actor’s family, through his own personal account, Smollett’s family claimed that the convicted felon was “very stable, he is very strong, he is very healthy and ready to take on the challenge that ultimately has been put up against him.”
In January of 2019, Smollett alleged that he was attacked by two individuals wearing MAGA hats on a Chicago street at 2AM.
According to the actor, these alleged Donald Trump supporters shouted “This is MAGA country” during the purported assault before proceeding to wrap a rope around his neck in order to “make it look more like a lynching.”
Special prosecutor Dan Webb says the actor even ‘tampered’ with the aforementioned rope to make the staging of his hoax hate crime more believable, moving the knot closer to his throat because “he wanted it to look like something more serious.”
“I want you to attack me, but when you hit me, I want you to kind of pull your punches a bit because I don’t want to get seriously hurt,” is what the actor may have told his attackers, according to Webb, who went on to speculate that the actor instructed them to put the rope around his neck because it made the assault “look more like a lynching, like a hate crime.”
What do you make of the disappointing, albeit predictable news that convicted felon Jussie Smollett has been released from jail not even a week after his 150-day sentence? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section down below or on social media.