Jussie Smollett begins a 150-day prison sentence in a protected state

CHICAGO – Jussie Smollett has been sentenced to 150 days in prison for a hate crime against himself in custody, separated from other detainees and guarded by security cameras and an officer, prison officials said on Friday.

Sheriff’s agents immediately took Smollett to Cook County Jail on Thursday night after Judge James Linn sentenced the black and gay actor to 30 months probation, starting with five months in prison, for lying to him. police saying it had been the target. of a racist and homophobic attack.

Smollett kept his innocence out loud and suggested he could be murdered in prison.

“Honorable lady, with respect to you and with respect to the jury, but I didn’t do that,” Smollett said Thursday. “And I’m not suicidal. And if something happens to me when I go in there, I didn’t do it for myself.”


Smollett’s sentence could end, pending appeal, more than three years of legal drama following the actor’s report to police that two men wearing ski masks beat him and threw racial and homophobic insults at him on a dark Chicago street and fled. .

Smollett’s lawyers filed an emergency lawsuit on Friday requesting Smollett’s release pending his appeal. An appellate court judge has ruled that prosecutors have five days to respond to the emergency motion, WMAQ-TV reported.

His attorneys also filed an appeal in Cook County Criminal Court. They had said on Thursday night that they plan to appeal both the jury’s guilty verdict and the judge’s sentence.


A day earlier, a judge had sentenced Smollett to 150 days in the Cook County Jail following his conviction for lying to police about being the victim of a misleading hate crime in 2019. Smollett was also sentenced to 30 months probation, sentenced to paid more than $ 120,000 in restitution to the city of Chicago and was fined $ 25,000.

He began his sentence immediately after learning of his fate on Thursday.

In a statement Friday, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said Smollett is in protective custody, typical of people “who may be at risk of harm due to the nature of their positions, professions or notable status.”

Smollett has his own cell, guarded by security cameras and an agent placed at the door and carrying a body camera, according to the sheriff’s office. Smollett may have “a lot of time” in the common areas to use the phone, watch TV, and interact with staff, but other detainees will not be in the common areas with him.


Smollett faces up to three years in prison for each of the five felony counts – the charge of lying to police – of which he has been convicted. He was acquitted on a sixth charge.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot praised the sentence, saying it sent a message that “false allegations and accusations” would not be tolerated.

“The city feels vindicated in today’s ruling that it is being held accountable and that we will receive adequate restitution for its actions,” it said in a statement.

Smollett’s sentence includes a payment of $ 120,106 in restitution to the city and a $ 25,000 fine.

Smollett was convicted in a December jury trial, where witnesses included two brothers who told jurors that Smollett paid them to carry out the attack and gave specific instructions on what to do and say.


Smollett, who knew the men from his job on the “Empire” television program filmed in Chicago, said he did not recognize them and did not know that it was the men who were attacking him.


See full AP coverage on the Jussie Smollett case.

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Jussie Smollett begins a 150-day prison sentence in a protected state

Source link Jussie Smollett begins a 150-day prison sentence in a protected state

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