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Social Media Disbelief After Jussie Smollett Is Released From Jail


* Smollett was released last night just six days into his 150 day sentence for felony disorderly conduct

* The 39-year-old actor strode out of jail in a t-shirt, his family flanking him like bodyguards

* He was shown mercy by a three person appeals board panel who relented after his many complaints

* Smollett claimed he couldn’t be in jail because of COVID, and he also complained about being held in the medical ward of the Cook County jail

* Many say the star has been given special treatment because of his Hollywood connections and fame

Jussie Smollett’s release from jail on Wednesday night has spawned a wave of disbelief, outrage and mockery of the entire case against Empire actor, with many considering it the latest episode in a long-running farce that began when he falsely claimed he’d been beaten up.

Smollett was convicted of five counts of felony disorderly conduct in December after a jury found he did lie to police in January 2019 and repeatedly since then by claiming he was attacked up by two white, homophobic Trump supporters in January 2019.

In reality, the men were two black brothers who say Smollett paid them to carry it out in an attempt to raise his celerity profile.

Last week, after an hours-long sentencing hearing where his attorneys begged for the judge not to jail him, Smollett was sent to the Cook County Jail for 150 days.

He protested the sentence, screaming ‘I am not suicidal!’ and ‘if anything happens to me in there I did not do it to myself!’ as he was led away.

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In the six days since, his family and legal team have spammed the court and media with reasons for why he should not stay in jail.

They filed an emergency motion claiming he can’t be in jail because he immunocompromised and at-risk of COVID. They’ve also claimed that he was being restrained to a bed in the psyche ward – which was denied by the jail.

His family also claimed they’d received threatening voicemails from people saying they were going to hurt him, even though he was under protective custody for the duration of his jail term.

On Wednesday night, he was released by an appeals panel that took sympathy on him.

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As Smollett recuperated with family on Thursday, social media erupted with memes and jokes about his release.

Smollett’s attorney Nenye Uche said last night that he had refused food during his stint jail.

‘Ice water, that’s been his food and liquid. I can only imagine if I was in jail for something I didn’t do, I wouldn’t be eating,’ he said.

Smollett did not speak to confirm the claims as he left jail, and looked svelte in a smart black t-shirt and matching pants as he was flanked by bodyguards who walked him to a waiting SUV.

The performer was freed by an appeals panel so he could contest his conviction for faking a racist and homophobic hate crime in 2019.

Uche also told reporters how his client ‘nearly given up’ after his conviction, which saw him rage at a judge who jailed him, before spending four of his six days behind bars in a psychiatric unit.

He was freed after he posted the required $150,000 personal recognizance bond.

Uche also revealed that the actor put his hands on the glass separating him from his client when the news was broken to him, and reacted with ‘shock’.

‘He was shocked,’ said Uche. ‘He had nearly given up.’

Smollett spent just two of his days with the general jail population, and four in a psychiatric unit over fears for his mental wellbeing.

Judges ruled that he should go free while his lawyers work on the appeal of his conviction on five felony counts of lying to police about a racist and homophobic attack three years ago. He was jailed for 150 days.

Uche, his lawyer, told the waiting press: ‘Obviously the Smollett family are very, very happy about this. We are elated.’

He then criticized the judge who presided over Smollett’s December trial, and who sentenced him on Thursday.

Uche accused Judge James Linn of having politicized the trial, and responded to the intense public interest in the case.

‘There is no room for politics in our court system, and our appellate courts do not play politics,’ said Uche.

He questioned whether Smollett should have been tried in the first place – noting that charges against him were dropped in March 2019, but filed again in February 2020.

‘I wondered to myself whether Chicago had seceeded from the union,’ said Uche.

‘Because in this country, you cannot try someone twice. It is unconstitutional to try someone twice.

‘Mr Smollett paid a $10,000 fine and did community service. There is no time machine to go back again and redo it.

‘Then you retry the case. You give him 150 days in jail, and restitution.’

Uche claimed that Smollett was treated harshly because of his race.

‘Should black men be walked into jail with a class four felony?’ Uche asked.

‘Shame on you if you think so.

‘People are still trying to lock black men up and it’s a disgrace.

‘The judge spent a great deal of time chastising, berating my client. I had never seen that before. I was not happy with it.’

Another member of Smollett’s legal team, condemned the ‘draconian sentence,’ and echoed Uche’s claim that Smollett was tried twice for the same offense.

‘I hope every citizen of Chicago realizes how important this case is.

‘Because it could be you,’ said Allen.

‘You should never, ever be tried again for something a second time.’

The appeal proceedings are continuing, and no date has yet been set for the hearing.

‘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,’ they ruled.

‘It is hereby ordered that the motion of the defendant, Jussie Smollett, to stay his sentence of incarceration and to grant him a bond pending the disposition of his appeal or until further order of this court is granted.’

A third judge, Maureen Connors, disagreed, writing: ‘I dissent and would deny this motion.’

Smollett’s lawyers had also argued in an emergency order that he was ‘immunocompromised’ and submitted a letter from a doctor saying the risk of Covid-19 should be factored in his release.

It is unclear what disease he is suffering from that puts him at risk of complications should he contract the virus.

Special prosecutor Dan Webb had asked the panel to deny the release request, calling it illogical and saying the claims that Smollett’s health was in jeopardy were ‘factually incorrect.’

‘Rather than attempt to meet his burden of showing good cause for his immediate rel… (Read more)

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