Turns out being a stunt queen celebrity really pays off. First he had been moved to a psych ward, but now actor turned convicted felon Jussie Smollett has been fully released from jail pending appeal. Smollett was convicted of staging a fake hate crime, and I guess what’s funny about this is that, because he’s clearly guilty, he’s only delaying the inevitable and causing himself more suffering when the appeal fails and he’s sent back to prison. Not to mention all the money he’s wasting on lawyers. Via AP:
Jussie Smollett was ordered released from jail Wednesday by an appeals court that agreed with his lawyers that he should be free pending the appeal of his conviction for lying to Chicago police about a racist and homophobic attack. The decision came after a Cook County judge sentenced Smollett last week to immediately begin serving 150 days in jail for his conviction on five felony counts of disorderly conduct for lying to police. His attorneys planned a news conference around his expected release Wednesday night.
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.
Smollett’s attorneys had argued that he would have completed the 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.
The office of the special prosecutor called the claim that Smollett’s health and safety were at risk “factually incorrect,” in a response to the motion, noting that Smollett was being held in protective custody at the jail. Smollett was being held in his own cell, and was being monitored by security cameras and an officer, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said after he began serving his sentence last week.
The court’s decision marks the latest chapter in a strange story that began in January 2019 when 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. He reported that the men assaulted him as he walked near his home in downtown Chicago to get something to eat. One of the men, Smollett said, put a noose around his neck.
A jury convicted Smollett in December on five felony counts of disorderly conduct — the charge filed when a person lies to police. He was acquitted on a sixth count.
[AP: Court: Jussie Smollett can leave county jail during appeal]