Convicted hate crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett was released from jail, after serving only six days of his five-month sentence.
An appeals court ruled that the former “Empire” actor could go free while his legal team appeals his conviction on 5 felony counts of disorderly conduct for lying to police, after he staged a racist and bigoted attack against himself in 2019.
On Monday, the actor’s legal team filed an emergency motion to postpone his incarceration, citing an array of reasons, including “vicious threats,” damage to his mental health, and “compromised immunity.”
The court’s 2-1 decision, which was opposed by special prosecutor Dan Webb, allowed Smollett to be released on a $150,000 individual bond, of which he did not have to pay a single dollar.
“The defendant has been convicted of non-violent offenses and that this court will be unable to dispose of the instant appeal before the defendant would have served his entire sentence of incarceration,” the court detailed.
Smollett left the Cook County Detention Center at 8 p.m. on Wednesday night, and was led to a waiting SUV by five bodyguards. His lawyer, Nenye Uche, criticized Judge James Linn for politicizing the trial and for allowing it to go forward in the first place.
“There is no room for politics in our court system, and our appellate courts do not play politics,” he said. “I wondered to myself whether Chicago had seceded from the union, because in this country, you cannot try someone twice. It is unconstitutional to try someone twice.”
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx initially dropped charges against Smollett in March 2019, but Webb refiled in February 2020 after concluding that Foxx abused her office to dismiss the charges.
“Mr Smollett paid a $10,000 fine and did community service. There is no time machine to go back again and redo it,” Uche complained. “Then you retry the case. You give him 150 days in jail, and restitution.”
He also claimed that the actor’s race was a motivating factor behind the sentencing. “People are still trying to lock black men up and it’s a disgrace,” he spat. “The judge spent a great deal of time chastising, berating my client. I had never seen that before. I was not happy with it.”