Jussie Smollett Released From Jail While Appealing His Conviction
Jussie Smollett Found Guilty in Disorderly Conduct Trial
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An appeals court ordered on Wednesday for Jussie Smollett to be released from Cook County Jail on bond, pending the appeal of his conviction.
Last Wednesday, Smollett had been sentenced to 150 days in behind bars and immediately remanded into custody. On Thursday, Judge James B. Linn also sentenced the 39-year-old actor to 30 months of felony probation, three months after he was found guilty on five of the six counts of disorderly conduct for which he was charged. The Empire star was also ordered to pay $120,106 in restitution to the City of Chicago and fined $25,000.
Smollett's attorney, Nenye Uche, shared a statement with ET on Wednesday evening, commending the court for their decision.
"We are very pleased with the ruling made by the Illinois First District Appellate Court. We are pleased that sensationalism and politics will be put aside and we can finally have an intellectual discussion about our laws with our esteemed appellate court," Uche shared.
Smollett's attorney further stated, "Three years ago, Jussie and the State of Illinois reached a deferred prosecution agreement in which he paid a ten thousand dollar fine and performed community service. As a result, the case was dismissed. To be recharged and prosecuted for the exact same thing, a second time, is not just morally wrong, but certainly double jeopardy and thus unconstitutional. Especially as it concerns an innocent man."
A rep for Smollett also confirms to ET that the actor fasted while in the Cook County Jail for spiritual reasons and subsided on ice water.
Earlier in the day, Uche posted a video message to the actor's Instagram account Wednesday afternoon sharing the news of the court's order.
"The state appellate court made an order for Jussie to be released from jail TODAY. A huge win in what will be a longer road ahead," Uche wrote. "Thank you so much to everyone who’s shared and posted #FreeJussie"
According to the Associated Press, Smollett's lawyers argued that Smollett would have already completed the sentence by the time he would have been able to appeal the conviction. Additionally, they reportedly argued that the actor could be in danger of physical harm in lock-up.
Prior to handing down the sentence, the judge admonished Smollett for the role he played in orchestrating the hate crime hoax, calling Smollett "arrogant," "selfish" and "narcissistic." The judge also said Smollett "committed hour upon hour upon hour of pure perjury" when he took the stand.
Following the sentencing, Smollett was booked at the Cook County Jail. The actor's mug shot was released Thursday evening. The county jail released a statement addressing Smollett's custody status, saying the actor's not being held in solitary confinement, which the Cook County Jail said it abolished in 2016.
Many of Smollett's friends and family members held protest and vigils demanding he be released, and began online campaigns calling for the public to rally in support.
For more on the ongoing legal drama, see the video below.
Jussie Smollett Sentenced to 150 Days in Jail, 30 Months Probation
Samuel L. Jackson Writes Letter Asking Leniency for Jussie Smollett
Jussie Smollett Is Found Guilty in Disorderly Conduct Trial
Jussie Smollett Testifies About Alleged Attack, Says 'There Was No Hoax' Planned