Court orders Smollett released after just one week in jail

Actor and singer Jussie Smollett, convicted and sentenced to five months in prison for a hate crime hoax in Chicago in 2019, was ordered released by a court on Wednesday morning.

Smollett, who paid two brothers to attack him while shouting homophobic and racist slurs — in addition to shouting “this is MAGA country” at him — had spent less than a week in Cook County Jail in Illinois.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Illinois Appellate Court’s order ordered no explanation aside from the fact Smollett had no convictions for violent offenses on his record and that his appeal wouldn’t be decided until his sentence was over.

The panel split 2-1 in favor of granting the motion.

Smollett was released on a $150,000 recognizance bond, which doesn’t necessitate him to post any money.

While Smollett had no criminal record before his December conviction for orchestrating an attack on himself to perpetrate a hate crime hoax, Judge James Linn took his appearance on the witness stand into consideration during his sentencing.

“You committed hour upon hour upon hour of perjury,” Linn said during sentencing, according to The Associated Press.

Defendants in criminal trials aren’t required to take the stand in their own defense. If they do, they run the risk of increasing their sentence or incurring other charges should they lie.

While observers considered Smollett’s testimony particularly egregious in this department. Smollett’s attorneys said the fact he was sentenced to 150 days in jail was indicative of racial prejudice.

“We’ve been complaining about the disparate treatment of African Americans in the judicial system,” attorney Nenye Uche said. after his release.

“Regardless of what you think about this case … the real question is, should Black men be walked into jail for a Class 4 felony? Shame on you if you think they should, that’s a disgrace.”

Earlier in the week, Smollett’s attorneys had asked for an emergency release after they claimed the actor’s sibling had received threatening calls.

The sibling was listed as Smollett’s emergency jail contact and says they received calls that appeared to reference the brutal 1997 assault by New York Police Department Officer Justin Volpe on Abner Louima, in which Volpe sodomized Louima with a broomstick in a police precinct bathroom.

“I hope what they do to that guy in jail — here’s what they’re going to do, right. They’re going to take a broom handle, and take that little [expletive], shove it in there, and he’s gonna go, ‘[shrieking sound],” said a man’s voice on one of the calls, according to a recording of the call Smollett’s legal team shared Monday.

While the number could just as easily have been given out to another hoaxer by Smollett, it’s worth noting, his team said this justified immediate release.

In a court filing, they said that “vicious threats” had been levied against the actor and that this “no doubt reflects the hatred and wish for physical harm toward Smollett which he may experience during incarceration.”

In addition to 150 days in jail, Smollett was sentenced to 30 months probation, $120,000 in restitution and $25,000 in fines.